family tree
press releases
mailing list
site map

news 2005

archives: news 1995 | news 1996 | news 1997 | news 1998 | news 1999 | news 2000 | news 2001 | news 2002 | news 2003 | news 2004 |
news 2005 | news 2006 | news 2007 | news 2008 | news 2009 | news 2010 | news 2011 | news 2012 | news 2013 | news 2014 |
news 2015 | news 2016 | news 2017 | news 2018 | news 2019 | news 2020 | news 2021 | news 2022
summary: timeline

Merry Xmas to you and all your readers. As you know, we have the gig at Oran Mor coming up on the 27th of December. We now have a few more dates in January, February and April. We will be doing Belfast and then Dublin. When I was over in Dublin recently with Spear of Destiny the Promoter was well excited about the prospect of having such an illustrious line-up, and said we would have to do a much bigger venue than the one we were in. So, watch this space for announcement of dates. Can't wait for the 27th. We've had an incredible reaction to the show, and were offered a string of dates for the end of next year, which we are mulling over at the moment. Expect a lot from us next year, including the first album Mick and I have co-written with Ian and Bruce. There are a few T.V. offers rolling in for next year too, which we are excited about. Onwards and upwards. Communication Ends (to quote Brandon)

Big Dan

New gigs for Simple Minds in 2006:

  • 14th April: Club 22, Athens, Greece
  • 15th April: Club 22, Athens, Greece
  • 16th April: Principles Club, Salonika, Greece
Despite being released in January, copies of the new single are already starting to circulate:

The tracklisting is (as reported on the 24th November):
1. Stranger [London Mix]
2. Bird On A Wire
3. Too Much Television
4. Stranger
Sanctuary SANXD 415

Jim in Argentia Several new European tour dates have been added to the tour pages.

I believe the Home discography is now complete. Collectors should be on the look-out for six versions of the single (two UK promos, two UK issues, a European promo and a European issue).

A Few Good Men to play a Hogmanay gig at new Glasgow Jazz Club/Italian Restaurant.
Sotteriano is situated on Union Street, right beside the Rennie MacKintosh Hotel.
We, AFGM, were blown away by this stunning venue/restaurant and are really looking forward to playing there.
Anyone who would like to attend this show/dinner on Hogmanay should call 0141-221-4340.
Bring in the bells with AFGM and Sotterianos Hostess, (and owner). Issabella.
Tickets for this Italian feast of great food and the very best in entertainment are £59.95pp.
Hope to see you there. Ciao

And don't forget:
Tuesday December 27th . ORAN MOR
Byres Rd. Glasgow. Tel. 0141 357 6201
Tickets £12.00 (subject to booking fee)
TICKETS SCOTLAND, 239 Argyle Street. GLW
0141 204 5151

Another gig has been announced for 2006:

  • Nibe Festival, Nibe, Denmark: 1st July: More details will be on the www.nibefestival.dkfestival's website (when it goes live). Tickets are available from or

    "Scottish rock band Simple Minds, released their album Black & White 050505, in September 2005. Due to their new album, the band has announced that they will visit Vega, In Copenhagen on February 21st 2005, as a part of the forthcoming world tour. But the legendary band will return to Denmark this summer, playing the smaller festival venue, named Nibe Festival."

    "The People behind the festival confirm that Simple Minds, will be their greatest band ever, to perform at the festival. With big smash hits like Alive And Kicking, Mandela Day, Belfast Child and Don’t You (Forget About Me), there will be no doubt about that!"

    "Simple Minds will be playing the largest stage, Saturday the 1st of July, at 00.30."

    "The festival takes place in a forest called Skalskoven, near Nibe in Denmark, from June the 28th to July the 1st 2006. Tickets are already for sale, and can be bought at following places: (This site is in English as well),, FONA (Danish record store), Mail office (only in Denmark) and the tourist agency of Nibe."

Dream Giver Redux continues to grow and the band's history has been completed up to mid-1982. That means Sons And Fascination, Sister Feelings Call, Celebration and Promised You A Miracle are all covered including band line-up changes, tour dates, song lyrics, press releases, press reviews, video reviews and more.

Dream Giver Redux is the definitive guide to the early years of Simple Minds. It has the most extensive discography and gigology ever compiled, which is linked to song lyrics, band line-ups, biographies of the key players and more.

"The closing of the festival was by the legendary Simple Minds who played 20 songs much of those from their latest album "Black & White".

During the concert the audience vibrated with songs such as "Sanctify Yourself", "Themes For Great Cities", "Don’t You (Forget About Me)", "Home", "Love Song", "Big Sleep", "Ghostdancing" and "New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)".

The audience sang many parts with lead singer Jim Kerr who asked the audience to sing strongly the song Mandela Day for it to be heard from Patagonia to the Malvinas and in South Africa." -

Some new dates have been added to the Black And White 2006 tour:

  • Stodola Club, Warsaw, Poland: 31st March 2006
  • Glückauf-Kampfbahn, Gelsenkirchen, Germany: 8th June 2006

Tracks from Black And White 050505 continue to be used as backing music. Part of Stranger is currently being used for ESPN's English Premiership build up on a weekend (which is broadcast all over Asia and the Middle East) much as U2's Beautiful Day was for Match Of The Day in the UK.

Jim's Still Keeping It Simple

Many a new band now plunders the 1970s for inspiration. What beter time for one of the rock monsters from that decaded to rediscover the form they had in their pomp. Jim Kerr's Simple Minds are back with a vengeance

Asked whether he reads the reviews of his records, Jim Kerr quips: "Only the good ones." He will have been kept quite busy then in the case of Simple Minds' new album, Black And White 050505. It's a return to the chiming, anthemic rock which echoed around the enormodome venues when Simple Minds breathed the same rarefied air as U2 at the top of the rock heap two decades ago.

"It is the most focused album for 20 years and we dug deeper," says the 46-year-old singer. Some had written Simple Minds off as a creative force, and Kerr is quick to admit that the last decade has had its share of "stop and start" and "false dawns".

"We have had such a long career - nearly three decades - and it becomes a life more than a career, and life is not alway bang-on, it's not always happening, it's not always panning out. Going into this, we were feeling once again that we could give everything to the music and that was not the case always.

Asked whether, in the creative doldrums, he ever considered giving up music entirely, Kerr says: "It did occur, but barely for more than a few seconds. There was a point even three or four years ago when personally I doubted whether I had another song in me. I wouldn't have betted on feeling how I do right now. Even this morning, I was working on a song. It feels like it's on tap again." It was when they hit the road following 2002's unsuccessful Cry album that Simple Minds fell in love all over again with their own back catalogue.

"A lot of the songs we had given up on seemed to have a new power and freshness to them, and that influenced us going into this record," says Kerr. "We thought how could we make an album where we conjure some of the old ghosts, but avoid being a parody or some obvious retro exercise."

The new songs include Black And White, on a theme of denial - personal denial and the big historical lie of Holocaust denial - and Dolphins, a deathly bleak song about swimming with dolphins built around a sonar-like guitar figure from Charlie Burchill, Simple Minds' guitarist and Kerr's long-term friend and collaborator.

There is also a semi-autobiographical song titled Home, about a quest for sanctuary. Far from his home city of Glasgow, Kerr's own sanctuary now is in Sicily, in the medieval town of Taormina, where he has opened a hotel.

"It is an upmarket tourist place now, I suppose, but all around it is very empty wild countryside," says Kerr, who has been visiting Sicily for 20 years. "It is like going back in time. If I go out on my scooter for half an hour, I can see someone use a plough. But then I come back into town and go into a studio and work with musical instruments and computers."

Behind Kerr are two broken marriages, firstly to Pretender's singer Chrissie Hynde and secondly to actress Patsy Kensit. He has a 20-year-old daugher, Yasmin, from the first marriage and a 13-year old son, James, from the second.

"I'm not alone but I'm not obliged," Kerr says quaintly of the current state of his love life. "It took me until only a few years ago to really know myself and know what works for me. While I'm still doing this (music), it's a fairly selfish thing. I have to admit that there is not much room for anything of great obligation."

Asked whether it was his dedication to the music which caused previous relationships to fail, he replies:" Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that I was never around, but, no, marriages fail every day." Music has been there for him right from his formative years. Kerr had been an apprentice plumber for three years ("My dad says I should go back to it .. I'd do better," he jokes). But he knew from the moment he walked into his first gig that he wanted to be a part of the musci business, and wanted to make music which mattered.

"We are from another age. We definitely are, and we are quite comfortable with that," he says. "In our age, things were much more polarised. The targets were really visible - Margaret Thatcher, apartheid, Ronald Reagan, Star Wars, the Berlin Wall. I thought we were on safe ground. Who could disagree with human rights?"

"We were still holding on to the 1960s thing that you did not cosy up and have a drink with the prime minister. You gave 'em hell and did not trust them, and I still don't. But come the 1990s and Britpop, everyone's in there having canapes."

Paul Taylor
Interview with Manchester Evening News
2nd December 2005

It's been announced on Greek radio that Simple Minds will be playing Athens, Greece on April 12th and 13th. Other sources suggest the 14th and 15th in Athens at Club 22. So it looks like a date has been pencilled in to visit Greece, we just don't know when exactly.

Some pictures of Jim at La Feltrinelli Books And Music in Milan can be found on Paola's site.

Jim will be giving a public interview in La Feltrinelli Books and Music Store in Milan, Italy, today at 6.30 PM.
Some Australian ticket sites have moved some of the forthcoming dates around. Melbourne has been moved from the 6th of May to the 12th of May (when they were originally supposed to be in Auckland) and Brisbane has been moved from 10 May to 9 May 2006.

Looks they might be subject to a little bit of shuffling around, so keep an eye on those.

Auction: Simple Minds memorabilia to raise funds for the Scarbourgh Celtic Supporters Club
(of which Brian McGee is an honorary member).

Brian has very kindly donated a framed selection of memorabilia from Simple Minds including:
  • A pair of drumsticks which he played with on tour with the band
  • the 12" single of Celebrate signed by Brian
  • the 7" single of Changeling also signed.
  • A very sought after red-eye badge
  • A photo of the original line up with all the bands signatures
  • A photo of the original line up taken at Bruce Findlay's birthday party. This is the only recent photograph in existence of the original members together.

All of this is presented beautifully in a high class frame.

Also there is a photograph of Brian himself holding the framed memorabilia for the lucky person who bids highest.

Please contact me directly at as soon as possible if you are interested in taking part in the auction.

Please be assured that this auction is for a one-off item and that this is the only one like it in the world.

I already have preliminary bids for the item of £500 sterling but hopefully there will be many more bids and the item will be sold for a lot more.

The closing date for the auction is January 5th 2006 at 12.00 GMT.

If you have any questions or queries about the auction please do not hesitate to contact me

Mark Connor

Mick MacNeil's site has been relaunched, given a completely new professional and eye-catching design, and now features some exclusive and very exciting content.

Mick has started to open up his Simple Minds archive of over 300 tapes of rehearsals, demos, studio jams and live material.

First on the site are a lengthy jam which was the precursor of Sanctify Yourself, a very interesting recording of Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) which sounds like a later rearrangement with Jim singing the melody, and Derek and Mick reworking a Simple Minds classic as Sons Of Dan.

Mick's site is

Stranger is being released as a single on the European mainland in January.

The tracklisting is:
1. Stranger
2. Bird On A Wire
3. Too Much Television
4. Stranger [London Mix]

This will be the first Simple Minds single to offer nothing new: all the tracks have been made available previously (either via the Internet or import from the UK).

Hopefully the UK release, which should be two discs again, will offer something new and exclusive.

Jim will be on a special version of 80's at 8 on Nova 969 in Sydney this Friday morning (Sydney Time).

An interview with Jim has just been published by The Australian newspaper. Whist his appearance on The Today Show can be found here (top of second column).

Finally, here's a transcription of Jim's appearance on Good Morning Australia where he chatted with host Bart Newton (thanks to Phil Hambly):

BN: You know its terrific to have bands that were around in the 80s and still playing or, more importantly, still playing well. But when you really start counting, there aren't that many from that era, that music era from the 80s going into the 90s who are still doing it well today. But the example of Simple Minds, the band which really hit big, I suppose [in the] early 80s, into the mid 80s and I suppose late 80s would be the real time…

JK: That's right. Yep.

BN: They are back in the studio. One of the co-founders, Jim Kerr, is with me this morning. It's a pleasure to welcome him to Australia. Welcome back Jim.

JK: Thank you very much.

BN: I guess what I was trying to say is that some bands reform but never recapture the sound, or perhaps get to a situation where they haven't moved along all that much with the music. This is not the case with Simple Minds, although you did break up for a little while didn't you?

JK: We certainly stepped back. I mean we never actually broke up, but we certainly stepped back towards the early 90s. It was, to be honest, it was like getting blood out of a stone. But I'm glad to say it doesn't feel like that just now and I think the new album is a return to the old power and the old style as well.

BN: The name of the new album is Black And White 050505. You and Charlie are the original members who are back in the studio. Was that almost like a revisit of times gone by, or was it a brand new feeling?

JK: Well, both really. I mean Charlie and I went to school together. We've known each other since we were 8, so we've kind of you know, this whole journey that Simple Minds have taken us on, we've shared it together throughout our lives. The new aspect is that every time you to write a song – you might in our case have a 30-year history – but every time you're writing a song it feels new again because its still mysterious, music. And so there was that feeling of, obviously, history, but as well a newness.

BN: You're an interesting bloke, because you were born in Scotland, huge success in England and now you're living in Spain is it?

JK: In Sicily.

BN: In Sicily?

JK: Yeah. I'm very lucky.

BN: For what reason?

JK: I'm a traveller at heart and there are so many places worldwide that enthral me. Australia is one of them. But I have to say that 20 years ago when our band went to play in Sicily, I fell in love with the place overnight. And gradually through time, you know, I would go on holiday and such and eventually I just integrated. And I got the language and even the mentality as well and its become my home now.

BN: Do you speak Italian?

JK: I do speak Italian.

BN: (motioning to one side) Come over Mark and say hello. Mark?, our music director.

JK: (shaking hands) Bongiorno…..[a bit of Italian!]…

BN: What did he say?

JK: He said he's very happy to be here and especially to be with yourself Bert.

BN: Lovely, now what's that in English? (laughter) I would love to be in Sicily at a restaurant hearing that beautiful Scottish accent of yours ordering. Does the accent follow through into your Italian?

JK: Well, I have to say in this new album, when I was doing the promo in Italy, I thought I would speak Italian – I'd go the whole hog. And I know I would make mistakes and I know the grammar would be a bit ropey, but on a few occasions people were rolling around the floor laughing with the Scottish brogue and Sicilian dialect.

BN: So tell us about the first single to radio from the new album. You wrote it?

JK: I did, yeah, with Charlie Burchill. It's a song called Home. And we think it makes a good, good single because we're confident from the opening bars it's identifiable as Simple Minds and hopefully identifiable as Simple Minds in form.

BN: I reckon you're right on form, and as I mentioned before, its just terrific to have a band of your quality come back with a brand new album, sound as well. I mean the sound I got having a listen to it this morning was that I could have been listening to a brand new band. You know, someone really of the new millennium.

JK: You're very kind.

BN: I guess that's what you were aiming for?

JK: Yeah, it was. It was a strange thing – we wanted to make a classic Simple Minds album, but the catch was how do you do that without becoming a parody of yourself? Because you can't really go back to the past. You can maybe draw on some of the old ghosts, but it was important that it had a current energy. I think the album has an energy that really belies our age to be honest, even the energy of the album surprised us.

BN: Will you tour?

JK: We are in fact. We're coming to the country in May next year. We've got dates all over – Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, of course – and that's in May next year. So we're looking forward to playing. We've go a lot to live up to.

I have to say Australia, for those who don't know, was the first place that gave us initial success and we'll be eternally thankful to everyone who put their neck on the line for us.

BN: I remember that actually. I'm not too sure whether it was your first record or not, but there was one that became a hit in Australia before it became a hit in the UK…

JK: That was Love Song.

BN: ….and America eventually.

JK: Well of course Molly Meldrum, he really took the band to heart and he gave us a right, great break. And, of course, up until then we'd always thought we'd become a cult band. But the great thing about Australia when we heard these really cutting edge radio stations, like Triple J and stuff, it was the first time we'd really heard ourselves on the radio. And definitely we thought, maybe we can crack it. And that encouragement we got definitely helped to propel us.

BN: Have you caught up with Molly this trip?

JK: I haven't, but I'll have to give him a call, I really do.

BN: Oh yeah.

JK: He's a superb guy and a real character.

BN: He's very happy to. He married John Michael Howsen. (laughter)

JK: (slightly bemused) Did he? I didn't know that.

BN: A lot of people say it won't last, but I think it's okay. I think on the wedding night John Michael wanted to wear the hat, but Molly refused. He's still wearing the hat.

JK: He's still wearing the hat? I would be disappointed if he wasn't.

BN: Give him a ring, because I know he'd love to hear from you and its been terrific talking to you Jim.

JK: All the best.

Good Morning Australia
Interview with Bart Newton
24th November 2005

Tickets are now available for Personalfest in Argentina on the 2nd December.

The Australian and New Zealand dates have now been announced. Tickets for Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will go on sale in December.

Jim was on the Today Show this morning when the tour dates were announced. There was no startlingly new info coming out of the interview, although Jim had obviously used his charm to win over the interviewer, Richard Wilkins (a long-time music presenter in Australia), who described Jim as a very funny man. Richard recalled one of Jim's stories of a man walking up to him in the street and asking "Aren't you Bono from Simply Red?"

It's been a while since the latest dance remix of Simple Minds. But two have just appeared on The Best Of Uplifting House Euphoria compilation (Virgin 5026535514428).

Permasma's Swing 2 Harmony uses Theme For Great Cities as an opening riff. And Ozone's Xpand also opens with Theme, but then evolves into an updated reworking of Usura's Open Your Mind which samples Theme For Great Cities, New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Open Your Mind.

At the moment, Xpand is only available on this compilation. But as a triple CD set costing £9.99, it's worth checking out.

A Few Good Men at Ivory Blacks.

Derek now has his blog site running: check it out at

Jim will be appearing on Barry Bissell's Weekly Countdown in Australia on November 27th. The 3-hour program (which includes a Top 20 countdown and interviews with visiting artists etc.) is broadcast on Austereo affiliated stations throughout Australia on Sunday afternoons.

Stay Visible was used as the backing music for Showtime, the most watched show on Danish television.

"What a fantastic night we had at Ivory Blacks last week, we couldn't have asked for more. Everyone we spoke to really loved it. Andy Gillespie was completely knocked out by Duel the Propaganda song included in the set, as was Brian McGee the Simple Minds and Propaganda legendary drummer. Mick played like the genius he is, but what would you expect... (we don't get any worse, that's for sure). Everyone asked when the next gig was going to be, and I can announce that it will be the 27th of December at Orin Mor, Byres road in Glasgow. Look out for a few more Minds additions to the set, as well as some more Big Country. I'm trying to erect my Blog Site, but still can't post any photographs. I will explain the set from Ivory Blacks i.e. why we played these songs. Had a confab with Bruce Watson about a double convention, maybe in Ayr, for Simple Minds and Big Country, that AFGM would play at. I think this would be a great idea. We would have Brian McGee, Mark Bryzycki and Tony Butler as special guests. Would that be of interest to anyone out there? Watched the DVD of Ivory Blacks and was astounded at how authentic the whole thing was. More suggestions for the set would be appreciated. Thanks for all your help Simon et al, and remember ORIN MOR Glasgow 27th of December 2005. See you all there" - Derek 'Big Dan' Forbes

Waterfront (Simple Minds)
Real Gone Kid (Deacon Blue)
Everybody Wants To Rule The World (Tears For Fears)
Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) (Simple Minds)
Chance (Big Country)
Duel (Propaganda)
Love Song (Simple Minds)
I Dream To Sleep (H20)
Dignity (Deacon Blue)
Belfast Child (Simple Minds)
In A Big Country (Big Country)
Don't You (Forget About Me) (Simple Minds)
Fields of Fire (Big Country)

Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) was played in a new form (similar to the Blow Up version on the Swimming Towards The Sun tribute album.) Love Song had gained some new effects whilst Belfast Child featured Mick on accordian.

Simple Minds are listed as one of the acts appearing at Bospop next year. See for more information.

Jim will be interviewed on BBC Radio Two tonight. He'll be appearing on the Ronan Riveron show starting at 10PM.

Black And White 050505 reached 31 in the Greek charts. This was after good showings from Good News From The Next World (2) and Neapolis (6).

The album also performed well in Germany, reaching 6 in its first week, and then slowly dropping to 8, 14, 23 and 27 in subsequent weeks. The single hung around the lower reaches of the singles listing, charting at 53, 73, 67, 61 and 67 over five weeks. This was the best performance since Good News From The Next World and She's A River.

It also peaked at 20 in Switzerland.

Dolphins was used as backing music during the UK's Formula One coverage several weeks ago. And New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) was played briefly during What Not To Wear last night.

Collectors should look out for European copies of the Stranger promo.

Brad from New Jersey (USA) produced this video of himself (Windows Media Video - 8MB) singing Don't You (Forget About Me) in his car. It looks as if Brad filmed and directed the video himself. Check out the lip-syncing and the jazzy video effects.

Brad is currently welcoming fan mail to the following email address:

A new date in France has just been announced. Simple Minds will play the Salle Micropolis in Besancon on the 25th March.

Tickets are available now from and

Don't You Forget About Me

Both his marriage and Simple Minds were on the rocks, but this time in Killiney isn't all bad memories for Jim Kerr

I lived in Ireland from 1994 until 1999. We got this big old Victorian house in Killiney, but I can't even remember the name of it now. In reality, we were only living there for maybe four months of the year - I was always away recording or on tour. I was married to Patsy [Kensit] and she was doing a lot of work in America for a while.

Charlie Burchill [the Simple Minds guitarist] was always keen on Ireland, and he owned Cliff House in Killiney. All the band used to stay at Cliff House to write and work on our music. That was around the time of Belfast Child.

Patsy and I decided to move over with the kids, and we bough our own house [Killiney House] on Killiney Hill Road, near Cliff House.

It was a Victorian house with a lovely sloping garden and a coach house attached. It had just been done up by the previous owners and was kitted out with all the best stuff. But the style wasn't really to our taste - it was a bit "yer mum's", if you know what I mean.

Because we'd done up two houses already, we were a bit jaded. You get sick of it. So we lieft this one just how it was. It was a very comfortable place with a very big living room. I really loved the master bedroom. It had this fantastic view and you could see all the way across the bay.

We used to play a lot of festivals with U2, so we got friendly and I'd often pop up to Bono's. He's a very generous guy. He always had interesting people staying or calling in. I remember one day I went up and Salman Rushdie was there. Sometimes Bono would pop up for a chat.

To be honest, it was an unsettled time for me and not a particularly happy one to remember. My marriage was breaking up and the band was already beginning to implode.

It seemed that one day - we were all about 18 - the band and I left Glasgow to go on the road and we'd been on it ever since. Ireland was just another place we lived in. Before Ireland, we'd lived in Portugal and Spain, and now I live in Sicily near my hotel, the Villa Angela. I'm extremely happy there. Charlie lives in Rome now. Back then we had got used to stopping here and there and upping sticks again just as quickly.

The Irish tax breaks for artists were certainly a big consideration. Although lots of countries offered them, Ireland had a special appeal for UK artists who didn't really want to be abroad. It was as close as you could be.

One of the things that also attracted us to Ireland was the less intrusive paparazzi.

Dublin was a very happening place back then. The economic revival was already beginning to kick off in Ireland, but it wasn't as crazy as it is now. Myself and Charlie felt comfortable because we'd already been over on holidays as kids. I had my first holiday in Bray. In the 1960s all the families from Glasgow went to Blackpool, the Isle Of Man or to Bray.

Bray was far more glamorous then. We all came to stay in a boarding house for a few weeks. I remember eating my first knickerbocker glory. I found it a bit strange living in someone else's house. There's a picture of me and my younger brother holding hands on the seafront there.

Charlie and I were originally from the tenements in the Gorbals. Big buildings with lots of floors and different families on each landing, bathroom outside, that sort of thing.

But when I was about seven, we moved to modern tower blocks at Toryglen. It was like moving from the 19th century into the future - there was central heating, elevators and everything; it was impressive to us at the time at least.

Killiney and Dalkey had a big aristo community thing going. There was a mix of well-known people from music and motor racing. Damon Hill lived next door to Charlie, Eddie Jordan was just up the road, Neil Jordan was nearby and so was Bono. Patsy really fell in love with Killiney - she loved the whole village feel to it.

I must be the only Scotsman who doesn't drink. So I wasn't really into the Dublin pub and nightclub thing. I like walking and football.

I used to walk up the top of Dalkey Hill, to the obelisk at the top for the view. I fell into following Shelbourne FC and used to go to all the games. But I still managed to keep up with my favourite team, Glasgow Celtic, even though it meant travelling back and forth regularly.

To be truthful, I don't miss much about life in Ireland. Sometimes I think, under different circumstances, I could have settled there, got more involed with people and maybe have stayed for good. It was a transient time for me, and I'd rather forget a lot of it.

Anyhow, I'm pretty happy living in Sicily. The scenery and the weather are jsut great. If you could see it, you'd know why.

Mark Keenan
The Irish Times
9th October 2005

Simple Minds will be playing a second night at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on the 28th March 2006. Tickets will go on sale on Saturday, November 12th.

And they will also be playing the Cirque Royal in Brussels on the 27th March 2006.

Simple Minds are headlining the first night of Peronsal Fest 05 in Argentina on the 2nd December 2005. For further information about the event (in Spanish), then check out this site. It looks like being a big concert, with 25,000 people expected each night.

Pictures of the band at Taratata can now be found on the programme's website.

A Few Good Men performed at the Radisson Hotel, Glasgow on Friday 4th November for the Glasgow Sports Personality Of The Year Awards. The pictures below show the band rehearsing in Mick's studio (with Bruce Watson from Big Country) and the soundcheck.

Don't forget: A Few Good Men will be playing Ivory Blacks in Glasgow this Thursday (10th November).

The Black And White 050505 discography continues to flesh out with all sorts of interesting and rare collectables. For instance, here's a rare Eastern European copy of the album, which also features most of Cry as bonus tracks.

Jim will be on the Dutch radio station 3FM tomorrow (8th November). He's guesting on the show Arbeidsvitamine (between 9:00 and 12:00).

You can liven live via their website (guests normally arrive at about 11:00).

Simple Minds will be playing at a festival in Buenos Aries, Argentina on the 2nd December. No other details are known at the moment.

The Stockholm gig is now sold out.

A full list of tour dates for 2006 can be found here.

The recent appearance on Tatatata will be broadcast on France 3 tonight at 11:00PM. (See for more information).

If you miss that, you can always set your videos as it will be repeated on France 3 on the 8th November at 2:45 in the morning.

Single track promo CDs of Stranger (London Mix) are now circulating. Housed in paper picture sleeves, these will prove extremely popular as the Internet release of the song isn't until the 14th November.

The UK only release of Stranger (London Mix) on has been delayed until the 14th November.

Collectors should look out for one-track CD promos of the remix. (Sanctuary DITPX 024).

The single is expected to get a 'proper' release in January.

After selling out in Dublin, the band have added a second night at the Abassador. The Black And White tour now kicks off on January 30th in Dublin.

Tickets are available from

Eddie Duffy is interviewed in this months Bass Guitar Magazine. The two page spread features an interview with Eddie, plus lots of pictures of the band through the years.

Collectors should look out for the withdrawn promotional US editions of the Black And White 050505 album. The original release date (13th September) is boldly shown on the back of the sleeve, so it doesn't look like these promos will reappear. Hence the few that have slipped out have become ultra-rare top collectables.

The second single taken from the Black And White 050505 album is a new mix of Stranger entitled Stranger (London Mix). An iTunes 'UK exclusive', the new mix will be available to download from Tuesday November 1, 2005.

Read the full colour press release here -

Best known for their US No.1 hit single Don't You (Forget About Me) and anthemic rock songs Alive And Kicking and Waterfront, Simple Minds have sold over 30 million albums worldwide. There influence is far and wide and name-checks everyone from Bloc Party, The Bravery to The Killers.

Stranger (London Mix) was remixed in London by Jez Coad, and includes a different opening introduction, added keyboards and percussion, extra sequencing and backing vocals. The song, along with the critically acclaimed Black And White 050505 album, is being hailed as the most accomplished Simple Minds album in years.

Stranger is one of many songs from the current album that will be performed on Simple Minds' 2006 European Tour which kicks off on January 31, 2006 in Belfast.

Simple Minds - 2006 European Tour -

  • New date: Bonn, Germany; June 1st: Buy Tickets
  • New date: Hamburg, Germany; June 2nd: Buy Tickets
  • You can now by Italian tickets (with the exception of Rome) online here
  • Sold out: Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Luxembourg.
  • About to sell out: London Astoria (13th Feb), Aberdeen, Oslo and Zurich.
  • Tour Dates: Dream Giver and Noble PR.

Free: Neon Lights

The Sunday Mail ran a promotion at the weekend, where you'd get a free CD if you ordered one of four 80s compilation CDs, or they sent you the free CD if you sent the postage.

Either send a 9" x 6" padded SAE with 58p stanp attached OR a crossed cheque made payable to Stour Valley Offers for £1.89 (which covers P&P) to:

Sunday Mail Simple Minds CD Offer,
PO Box 5553,
And mark the envelop Free Claim Only - Simple Minds CD

Offer ends 3rd November, UK residents only, one copy per household.

It is with some anticipation that I wait to interview Jim Kerr, lead singer and joint founder member of Simple Minds.

My feelings are mixed. Simple Minds at one point in their 27-year history created some of the most other-worldly, powerful, yet delicate music of the post-punk period.

From 1980 to 1984 Simple Minds were too cool for school, brimming with musical capital, a band that could count art-school heroes Brian Eno and David Bowie among their most ardent fans.

Critics at the time described Simple Minds in terms of their musical colour and a sound marked by inventive, pulsating repetitive bass riffs, ethereal keyboards and soaring, experimental 'anti-guitar hero' guitar.

This was capped with Jim Kerr's haunting voice.

Less concerned with songs as stories, Kerr threw out captivating, partly formed images of brittle grace, of dreamers, landscapes, journeys, lost loves.

Simple Minds were a European band and had at their command a colour palette akin to the best of French Impressionism - soft-focused, yet bold and inventive images and sounds.

The band formed a worthy contrast to the dark, angular modernism of their more industrial-sounding contemporaries Joy Division or Gang of Four.

This dream-like and ethereal quality can be sampled on 1982's majestic New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) album in full effect.

Legendary Channel 4 series The Tube has just released its first series on DVD and if proof were needed as to the power of Simple Minds as a live entity this is a good place to start.

Here Jim Kerr displays himself as one of popular music's most idiosyncratic and evocative frontmen as he dives around the stage, trance-like, drawing shapes and reaching for, well... something!

My feelings are mixed, however, because in the mid-1980s Simple Minds morphed into a stadium rock band, attaching to themselves all of the negative connotations that surround the form in the process: bombast, bloatedness, pomp and piety.

The poetics of yore was replaced with a more 'direct' approach and the impressionism was replaced by a desire to uplift stadium audiences.

Lyrical ambiguity was replaced with widescreen sloganeering; a political worthiness displaced the poetic muse.

Good intentions certainly, but many of the lyrical and thematic preoccupations were the kind of sentiment any right-thinking person would, or should, have cherished anyway.

This incarnation of Simple Minds had distinctly American connotations, having more in common with mid-1980s U2 and Springsteen than the artists mentioned earlier.

The electronics also receded as more traditional 'rock' elements were pushed forward.

For many critics Simple Minds became regarded as a dramatic musical 'fall from grace' and gradually their albums ceased to become the events they once were.

Many, such as myself, would vainly offer a defence pointing to the fact that the same band really had made some of the most important experimental music of the decade!

Nonetheless, such was the force of early Minds that I never entirely lost interest and unknown to anyone I still would catch myself curious about the latest releases. But nothing approached past glories.

Simple Mind's new record, Black And White 050505, their 12th studio album, is no retread, or attempt to nostalgically revisit early Simple Minds.

It is an album, however, that is inspired by that which was good about the band and certainly the best Simple Minds album in some time. I would even venture it's the best since 1984's Sparkle in the Rain.

Their new sound is leaner and tighter, former excesses are pared away and the songs are stripped and textured.

A new-found pop sensibility is on display. On one play, after initially approaching the album with some anxiety, I found myself singing along bits of it to myself. No one was more surprised than me.

The closing track, Dolphins, is a testimony of this newly discovered subtlety. A reassessment of the band is well over due and it is fitting that many of today's emerging groups, such as Bloc Party, are citing Simple Minds as a major influence.

I had a Q&A session with Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr about the band's latest offering and upcoming tour...

Q. I'm someone who has been waiting a long time for a good new Simple Minds and I'm pleased to say that this is it.
Jim Kerr: Me too! I've been waiting a long time for a good Simple Minds album!

Q. A couple of years ago one of hip hop's founding fathers, Afrika Bambataa, was asked in an interview about what it was like hearing Kraftwerk for the first time and what his favourite Kraftwerk song was. While he acknowledged his love of the German quartet, he mentioned a track he loved in particular at that time by another band... after struggling to remember he sung the praises of Simple Minds' Theme for Great Cities.
JK: That's extraordinary! I had never heard that before! I didn't know we were there near the birth of hip-hop. Theme for Great Cities is a great record and its now back in our set after many years. The track is a testament to Mick McNeil (Simple Minds' keyboard player at the time); it really was his baby. He was a remarkable musician. We've been rediscovering those old records because they're now strangely contemporary and inspiring.

Q: Isn't there a sense now, with remarks like Bambataa's that the time has come for a long overdue Simple Minds reappraisal? You've, to a degree, been left out of the reassessment of the post-punk period, which a lot of new bands have been rediscovering.
JK: I think that's true. We were never any good at shouting about what we did from the rooftops. We just quietly got on with it. But yes, it is flattering. Sometimes you just have to wait for your time to come back round again or for people to acknowledge your place in the scheme of things. When we shot to prominence internationally after Don't You (Forget About Me) people thought we were a new band, when there had been several Simple Minds albums before that point. But it's also great to hear new bands like Bloc Party saying nice things about us.

Q: You became frequently compared to U2 at that point in time.
JK: The way I see it is that U2 and Simple Minds really have gone in reverse journeys. They were this tremendously ambitious band. I remember being shocked that they wanted, quite simply, to be the biggest band in the world and made no bones about it. As I said, we were much quieter in a way. We didn't like blowing our own trumpet even though we were always confident in our abilities. I remember seeing them live at the time and being blown away. But U2 went from stadium rock band to art band and we kinda went the other way; having begun as an experimental group, we turned into more of a stadium band.

Q: Is it fair to say that the Simple Minds of Empires and Dance and New Gold Dream will be remembered will greater critical fondness than the stadium rock years. It appears to many that Simple Minds became the epitome of stadium rock?
JK: Yeah, you can't have regrets, even if there is part of that I agree with. We wanted to see where the journey would take us. I remember thinking at the time, we may lose some friends but we'll make new ones. So we had this whole world opening up to us. I remember the thrill of joining in festivals with these bands that were heroes of ours and we were going down a storm in this kinda company.

Q: What had been the inspiration for your best music? As with U2, friendship seems an important aspect of Simple Minds.
JK: Friendship has been incredibly important to us as a band. In a way we were a school band, writ large! Charlie and I have been friends since we were kids and that creates a closeness of communication. Going back to Mick McNeil, we still keep in touch and at times I have missed Mick in the band. He says now with hindsight that when he said he wanted to leave, he really just needed a holiday!

But our best work grew out of a joy, really. A joy in creating, joy in the process. I remember being interviewed back in the 1980s by this guy and he wasn't getting what we were doing or what I was saying. So I said, "You are not getting this are you?" And he said "No."

He then retorted, "Why do you think I am not getting you?"

I replied, "Because you are joyless..."

I think we pushed against lot of the easy cynicism that was around.

Q: You stood out from the other so-called 1980s bands, with keyboards, guitar, bass and drums line-up. While the sound was electronic and distinctive it was more difficult to classify. A little like Japan in line-up and approach?
JK: Japan were a brilliant band. Brilliant! I can see the comparison, strong textures. What an innovative band, superb musicians, incredibly creative. We had similarities sure, but Japan were cold, more studied than us. I think, somehow, it is impossible for a Glasgow band to sound cold. Japan stood back to be appreciated and they held you back in a way. We wanted to draw people in what were doing. I don't think even at our most experimental that we were cold or detached

Q: There was a delicacy to your earlier records, a beauty, even fragility, a striving for something difficult to articulate. Qualities difficult to attach to the stadium years?
JK: I listened to Empires And Dance quite recently and just thought what an extraordinary record and how its themes are relevant to today's world with its ethnic infighting, changing borders and terrorist threats. Musically, we were drawing on all kinds of influences from Philip Glass to Joni Mitchell. We wanted to get the whole sense of travelling into the music itself.

If we had remained the art band of those days we might be better remembered, but we might not be around now making new records and connecting with people the way we have been over the last shows.

Q: You've made some original-sounding records. I remember hearing Waterfront when you played it for the first time in the summer of 1983 as U2's guests in Dublin. I think it was fair to say that you stole the show with a song no-one had heard before that wasn't typical Simple Minds. You see the uncertainty at the beginning but by the end everyone was singing the refrain like it was the most important sentiment in the world.
JK: We had only just written it, rehearsed it a couple of times; hadn't even recorded it and then we decided to open with it in front of 25,000 people in U2's home town at their homecoming gig. I think we did in our way steal the show partly because U2 were having a funny day. But that kind of risk-taking was important to us.

People forget that when they typecast us with the stadium band thing, they forget that we had to work our way up in our own way, paying clubs and developing, progressing the sound.

Q: It was a unique-sounding record. This single-note electronic pulse, before the days of dance music: we could probably call it stadiumtronica or something today.
JK: Yeah, probably. We were always looking for ways of improving, of taking ourselves somewhere else.

Q: How would you describe the new sound, what have been the influences and why Black and White 050505?
JK: I think, and I hope this doesn't sound wrong or big-headed or anything, but ourselves; reconnecting with what was good about what we did. I wanted to get away from the anthems, the big sound and to make a record that was more lean and economical, more focused; cinematic as opposed to bombastic. Wide-screen pop rather than stadium rock. Most people know us from Don't You (Forget About Me) onwards as the stadium band, when there are several Simple Minds albums before then. Throughout that time we had to work our way up touring and playing clubs and concert halls and I have been wanting to get back to that. This record grows out of that.

Black And White, we felt, suited the mood of the times, even if black and white has been used too often. We wanted a title that got at harsh contrasts, at opposites. The 050505 was added as a reference to New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).

Q: I read somewhere else that you went through an uncertain period?
JK: Yes. I went through a period where I felt directionless, kinda of lost my purpose. I have moved to Sicily recently and I feel really at home there and that was revitalised me. I think if you feel better in life, you feel better about most things and you definitely feel better about making music.

Q: Some of the joy, you spoke about earlier?
JK: Definitely!

Q: You sound like a man on a mission, inspired and enthused? The new album also sounds a world away from nostalgia 1980s revival bands.

JK: Inspired, definitely. I still see myself, firstly, as a music fan. Like everybody else these days I am iPod-ed up. But it has been great to rediscover some of the 'joy' I spoke about earlier.

I had a period where I didn't feel that, I had kinda lost direction and the so did the band. I think that can show in the music.

That doesn't mean that everything we've done over the last few albums is bad, because I think there are flashes of inspiration, even if these got less and less.

But this is our most consistent record in a long time and I feel really good about it. I never felt part of the 1980s thing, even at the time, we were always quite separate from that. It's of more interest to record companies, in terms of marketing, than it is to us.

But the enthusiasm and joy comes out in the live shows.

Anyone coming to see Simple Minds on this tour will be surprised and will be getting more that they bargained for.

This is a band on fire.

Noel McLaughlin
The Irish News
14th October 2005

"We've started writing for our debut album, and I must say, there are a few surprises in store for the listener, (What! Only one?). Has anyone come up with the songs we should play at Ivory Blacks? I always fancied playing 'Today I Died Again', and I have a wicked acoustic version of 'Don't You'. 'Pleasantly Disturbed' is another track Mel and I played in Brindisi at the Forbes Gaynor and Friends show. At that gig, film actress Louise Berry (Slab Boys), sang it. I could imagine Bjork singing it too! Anyway, enough of my yakkin', make a tent Jimmy boy and have a word wi' 'Hooky'. The Lord Mayor of the Trossachs" - Big Dan

A Few Good Men rehearsing at Mick's studio

And here they are. After collating private mails, and suggestions posted publically to the list, here's the suggestion of Simple Minds songs which A Few Good Men should play, as suggested by the fans:

Four votes: This Fear Of Gods, Room, New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Three votes: Premonition
Two votes: Changeling, Scar, Love Song, The American (with the Bonanza intro), Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel, Hunter And The Hunted, Book Of Brilliant Things (the 1984-85 live version), Kick Inside Of Me
One vote: Pleasanty Disturbed, Film Theme, I Travel, Capital City, Sweat In Bullet, 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall, Sons And Fascination, Theme For Great Cities Wonderful In Young Life, Seeing Out The Angel, Someone Somewhere (In Summertime), Up On The Catwalk, East At Easter, "C" Moon Cry Like A Baby, War Babies

Many thanks to all those who sent in suggestions. The results have been sent to Derek.

A new box set discography has been added to the site. It marks the Internet debut of many items you've probably never seen before.

A Q&A session with Jim was published by the Nottingham Evening Post on the 7th October. Complete with an up-to-date picture of the boys from the Neapolis photo shoot.

My Music Q&A
Jim Kerr is frontman with Simple Minds, who have just released a new album Black And White 050505 and announced a tour which visits Rock City on February 7 2006.

What was the first record/CD you bought?
Ziggy Stardust when I was about 13. And I have to confess the single was Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.

And the last?
Antony And The Johnsons. No, it was before the Mercury thing. I'd walked in on this art show on TV and he was mid-song. I just thought "what the hell is this?" I went out and bought it the next morning. In fact, I bought a few copies and gave them to a few mates.

What is your Desert Island Disc?
There is a piece of music I play quite often in the morning and, I'm showing my age here, it's a classical piece called The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams. It's a stunning piece. I'm a big fan of all things Japanese and although this is not Japanese there is something inherently Japanese anout the melody.

Where do you buy your music?
Where I live in Italy it has one record shop in the high street - well the only street - and it's a really good little shop. I love going there and the guy loves it when I go there.

He knows who you are?
Yeah but he's not impressed, he just wants to know how many I'm buying.

What is the most embarrassing record/CD in your collection?
None of them. I just don't get embarrassed by things like that. Who cares what you think!?

Recommend a new album.
Antony And The Johnsons. I love it. It's always good when something comes out of the blue like that.

Who was your first gig?
Genesis when Peter Gabriel was in the band at the Playhouse in Glasgow, which became the famous Apollo.

And last year?
U2 this year.

So you're still matey with them?

You didn't have to pay for your ticket then?
No. When you're a Scotsman that's important.

Who is your music here?
It would have to be Bob Dylan.

Simon Wilson
Nottingham Evening Post
7th October 2005

Simple Minds' Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill were pleased to win the Lifetime Achievement award, but stressed the show ain't over yet. Jim said: "We won the Lifetime Achievement/Old Timer award, but it's not over yet. We are getting ready to tour and are planning another album." The band, confirmed to play T In The Park, were complimentary about some of the new Scottish bands. Jim said: "Seeing El Presidente and their energy is fantastic. It's great for Glasgow and Scotland that so many musicians have made it here in the last few years." - Daily Record

(Also see the news of the 14th October).

"You know, on Thursday last, Ian Donaldson and I went to the office in Glasgow of John McKie, the man in charge of our website. I had a phone call from him only the day before to tell me that we'd had 14,000 hits in 6 weeks, which we thought was incredible. It turned out that he had got it wrong, and it was actually over 25,000 hits by 12pm that day. I'd just like to thank all of you who have accessed the site and hope to see you all on the 10th of November at Ivory Black's in Glasgow, where I will buy you all a drink....aye yer arse. As I said to Ian...'we're going to need a bigger boat'. Thanks to one and all..." Derek Forbes


Look out for the November issue of Guitar Buyer. Charlie is interviewed and gets a four page spread inside the magazine.

The forthcoming single discography has been added to Dream Giver Redux. Collectors should check it out as several new items have been added.

In Germany, the album remained in the top ten for two weeks. Whilst Home faired less well, only making 53 in its first week, the chart performance of both releases was the best since Good News From The Next World.

According to World Top 50 Albums, Simple Minds are currently at number 50 having shifted 43,000 copies of Black And White 050505 this week. This is a drop from 38 the previous week, where they sold 76,800 copies.

The Floating World German fanclub site has been having problems with its domain name. It isn't offline, but until they get the problems sorted out, it can be accessed via

And a new video discography has also been added to Dream Giver Redux.

The tour date page is now completely up-to-date and includes the newly announced Italian gigs.

Congratulations to Simple Minds who picked up the Music Lifetime Achievement award from Radio Clyde yesterday.

Simple Minds' Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill were pleased to win the Lifetime Achievement award, but stressed the show ain't over yet. Jim said: "We won the Lifetime Achievement/Old Timer award, but it's not over yet. We are getting ready to tour and are planning another album." The band, confirmed to play T In The Park, were complimentary about some of the new Scottish bands. Jim said: "Seeing El Presidente and their energy is fantastic. It's great for Glasgow and Scotland that so many musicians have made it here in the last few years." - Daily Record

Good news for those in Switzerland. The Volkhaus gig (9th March) has been sold out for a while now, but a new date has been added at the Eulachhalle in Winterthur for the 10th March. Tickets can be purchased from

Derek's been in touch with a mail titled Not Just Life To Sparkle - so A Few Good Men will consider any Simple Minds song - suggestions?

"We played Belfast Child at the Mull of Kintyre Festival in Campbelltown. Mick played it on his squeeze box. For Ivory Blacks we will be including Mick's niece on pipes for a completely mad Scottish ending with tracks you wouldn't assume could work with this instrumentation. I refuse to play Glitterball (sic).

We are playing the Sportsperson Of The Year awards in Glasgow on the 4th of November. The line-up is Derek Forbes bass, Mick MacNeil keys, Ian Donaldson vocals, Jane Button vocals, Bruce Watson guitar, Malc Button drums.

The line-up for Ivory Blacks is Derek Forbes bass, Mick MacNeil keys, Ian Donaldson vocals, Jane Button vocals, Bruce Watson guitar, Steve Harris guitar, Steve 'Smiley' Barnard drums (ex Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros/Robbie Williams) and hopefully Jim Prime keys of Deacon Blue can make it. Mel will be there if he can, but has commitments round about then. Watch out for Brian McGee making an appearance" - Derek

Jim's on Richard Allison's show on BBC Radio 2 every morning this week from 11:30 to 12:00. On a segment called Tracks Of My Years, Jim talks about songs which have influenced him.

Jim's choices have been listed here and the show can be listened to via streaming media. You can also listen to Monday and Tuesday's shows using Listen Again.

Despite the fact that the album's now been out for a month, and the intimate tours is over, the interviews keep coming thick and fast.

Firstly, Jim talks about his holdiay experiences with The Independent, Uk-based MP3 music site had a chat, there's a further interview with The Irish Independent and and Julian Wall, Sanctuary Senior VP talks about the US release of the album.

"We are writing for a new album, which, at the moment, looks set to be released on Track Records, the ex Who and Jimi Hendrix label. Go to the site ( to see who's involved. We are playing Ivory Blacks in Glasgow on the 10th of November, and that will be the 3rd time Mick and I have played together since August. Of course we will be playing Simple Minds songs that we wrote." - Derek.

The gig will also be filmed.

Derek also asked which Simple Minds songs the fans would most like to hear. So, either send me your suggestions, or post your suggestions to the mailing list.

Subscribe to simple-minds
Powered by
Whilst on the subject of the mailing list, the number of subscribers recently reached 1000! It's the largest Simple Minds discussion group on the Internet. And, for a forum which is free and subscription is optional (you only really need to subscribe to post), this is an excellent indication of how much interest is growing in the band.

So here's the blurb if you want to find out more:

This mailing list has existed in various forms since 1994, being the original source of news, gossip and discussion about the band.

We currently have over 1000 people on the list from all over the world. Band members look in from time-to-time, Jim has mentioned it on occasions, Derek has offered a guitar and Bruce is an active member.

You can browse the messages here, but you have to join the list in order to post.

There are very few rules. It is recommended to keep on-topic (off-topic posts are tolerated, but don’t be surprised if you get an rebuke eventually) and please treat everyone with respect.

What are you waiting for? Subscribe and get posting!

I've further updated the discography with SACD and DVD-Audio information.

The Irish Newsletter in Belfast recently published an interview with Jim. And icBirmingham also talked to the lead singer.

The band's performance from the London Venue can now be viewed via Capital Gold's website. And tonight, NDR2 will be broadcasting the band's Hamburg gig.

Derek Forbes: Simple Minds/Propaganda
Ian Donaldson: H20
Steve Harris: Gary Numan
Mick MacNeil: Simple Minds/Pretenders
Bruce Watson: Big Country
Mel Gaynor: Simple Minds/David Bowie
Jim Prime: Deacon Blue

A FEW GOOD MEN are the original artistes from the Scottish bands who recorded and performed some of the biggest hits of the 80’s and 90’s. Songs that became a soundtrack for the lives of a generation, worldwide.

A FEW GOOD MEN are another chance to celebrate those unforgettable times all over again. All the hits, one after another, in one amazing show!

Next Gig
Thursday 10th Nov. IVORY BLACKS
Oswald Street. Glasgow

The recent 'new' discography on the minimal official site has raised a few eyebrows and prompted several comments. It's also prompted me to also put the correct version together.

There's also a listing of the remasters, Virgin's view of the back catalogue (which you'll find as a 'bonus' on the various DVD, DVD-Audio and SACD releases) and finally the full version.

Simply The Best... Again

Kerr's crew back on the road once more

Simple Minds are, to put it simply, a legend.

Their anthemic musical legacy from the 1980s, when they filled stadiums around the world with ease, has influenced bands ranging from Texas to Bloc Party. And now they are influencing other people... themselves.

Because when it came to making their new album, Black And White 050505, the Scots rockers found themselves turning to their own past, said iconic frontman Jim Kerr. And the result is a band that is re-energised, full of ideas and enthusiasm.

A band that has rediscovered what Jim called "the big beating heart of Simple Minds."

"The last decade for Simple Minds has been one of stop-starts and quite a few false dawns," said Jim who for the past three years has been living in Sicily. "There were other things in our lives and for a while there I think we were dabbling in music as opposed to really shutting out the world and throwing yourselves into the way we did in the early days."

"But this was a full-blooded approach, a whole hearted, approach on this album," said Jim, his voice full on passion and enthusiasm. And that approach seems to have worked, with Black And White 050505 being hailed as a return to form for Simple Minds.

A sharp reminder that this was the band that gave the world a seemingly endless list of such classic songs, such as Waterfront, Sparkle In The Rain(sic), Don't You (Forget About Me), Promised You A Miracle, Belfast Child and Mandela Day.

Everyone has a favourite Simple Minds track.

"It's ironic, because people ask us what the influences were on this record," said Jim. "And the incluence on us was ourselives, albeit ourselves as in 15 years ago."

This back to the future approach started about four years ago with their last album Cry... a record Jim freely admits "didn't do very much."

It didn't actually chart, but it did get the band, including Jim's childhood friend and collaborator from day one of Simple Minds, Charlie Burchill, touring again after a long absence from playing live.

"We decided to really go athrough the catalogue and play songs from every phase," says Jim, referring to the band's near three decades of existence. Jim said: "It was great fun, as we expected, but we were prtty sure it would weigh heavily on the nostalgia. But, in fact, some of the songs took us by surprise, some of the sounds, some of the approaches. Things that we expected to be old-fashioned, didn't feel old-fashioned. They seemed to have a new validity, the smeed to have a new power. They certainly seemed to be exciting us again."

But whenever a band looks to its past to carry it into the future, there's a danger of falling into pastiche."

It was a minefiled of which Jim was aware.

"That's the catch. You can't really go back, but how do you draw on that without doing some sort of parody or retro extercise? How do you recall the ghost, but also add some current energy?"

"It wasn't easy. We had a couple of frustrating false starts, but once we got to songs like Stay Visible and Home, we started to think it was shaping up the way we hoped."

But how can Jim be sure that this isn't yet another of those false dawns that has seen Simple Minds stuttering over the past decade.

"I think this is the real McCoy in that I can see three or four years of solid, well, I don't know if work is the right word. But a lot of playing live again, giving our lives to it."

"We came out of the studio with a bag of new ideas. Some albums exhaust you, some leave you drained, with some you think 'thank God that's done.' But right now I feeel we could write a song every day. I feel fertile and potent and new. That makes me think it's not just a purple patch."

Part of giving their lives to the album includes a European tour next year, which will kick off here in Aberdeen at the intimate venue of the Music Hall in February.

And playing their hits, old and new, in smaller venues is a deliberated move for Simple Minds, a band equally at home in a stadium.

"For me great live artists are the kind of people who can do it in a bar, a pub, a club, a theatre, an areana, a stadium," said Jim.

"The challenge was, and is, to show that we can do it wherever we step on a stage. The idea is to go back to the smaller ones and have to cut the mustard as the sweat is pouring off you and you have nothing but your sheer talent. You have to go on and prove it."

And prove it they have done, with stand-out performances at Live Aid and for Nelson Mandela, and more stadium gigs than you could name. But if you ask Jim to point at his most memorable moment from his glittering musical career, the answer is unexpected and touching. "Meeting Charlie Burchill in the street and deciding to play sandcastles that day," he said.

"Because without Charlie, for me none of this would have existed. We are pivotal to each other."

Scott Begbie
Evening Express
24th September

More chart positions:

  • Belgium: Home 14
  • Belgium: Black And White 050505 2 (Studio Brussels)
  • Belgium: Black And White 050505 3 (Charts)

And here's the lyrics of Stay Visible... well, sort of anyway.

Very much alive and kicking

With a new album, Black And White 050505 to promote, Simple Minds are hitting the road in Europe next February for a tour that will build through the year.

"We're starting off in clubs and just keeping it going, so that the band will probably be on the road for about 10 months," says the band's manager Ged Malone of GMW Entertainment. "The plan is to start off small and steadily build up."

Agent John Giddings of UK based Solo couldn't be happier. "It's the first album in a long time where the band are entirely comfortable with it," says Giddings. "They're willingly doing a lot of promo and TV stuff and that's a surefire sign an artiste believes in their product."

"Starting in February they're playing 2,000 to 3,000 capacity rock venues around Europe, like London Astoria, Glasgow Academy and Amsterdam Paradiso. Then they're going to the US, South Africa, Japan and Australia, before returning for European festivals. I'm already taking arena offers for an autumn European tour."

The band's album is released on Sanctuary Records.


Jim was interviewed on Cool FM in Belfast yesterday about the forthcoming 2006 Simple Minds European Tour. The fun interview with Paul Kennedy (including the infamous Waynegag can be heard here).

The new cover version of Theme For Great Cities by Angel Theory can be downloaded from their website.

Not bad!

By coincidence it's taken from their Black And Blue EP.

More chart positions from around Europe:

  • Holland: Black And White 050505 23
  • France: Black And White 050505 46 (best chart result since Good News).

A great version of Home from the TV Total PRO7 German broadcast can be viewed here.

  • The band will be appearing on The Late Late Show (RTE Television) in Dublin today.
  • Irish fans take note: The Irish News will publish an interview with Jim on October 7th.
  • Nottingham fans take note - the Nottingham Evening Post will publish an interview with Jim also on October 7th.
  • Birmingham fans, keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming interview with Jim in the Daily Post newspaper.
  • And look out next month for a big interview with Simple Minds bassist Eddie Duffy in the next issue of the Bass Guitar magazine.
The forthcoming 2006 tour will be much larger than the set of dates currently posted. Starting with the 2000 to 3000 capacity rock venues around Europe, they're then set to visit the USA, South Africa, Japan and Australia before returning for the European Festivals. Then, a tour of the arenas in Europe is expected. - Canada

When Simple Minds last made a decent record, Osama was still pulling US paycheques and people actually thought Jim Kerr was good-looking. Still, it's hard not be heartened by this half-sublime/half-trainwreck comeback, featuring founding members Kerr (i.e., the one who married Chrissie Hynde) and Charlie Burchill (i.e., the one who isn't Jim Kerr). For sure, Black and White 050505> -- produced by stadium rock guru Bob Clearmountain -- is certainly no cheapo piece of product, like the recent Duran Duran record. Opener Stay Visible is so thrillingly, bombastically '80s-sounding, it should come with a white bandana and a "Free Nelson Mandela" decal. The remainder plays better when Kerr keeps it pop (Home, Different World) rather than shticking it avant-garde-style (Underneath The Ice, Dolphins), but this is still a wholly unexpected, enjoyable return. PI 3/5

Album review from 4/5

An interview with Jim Kerr was published in The Times newspaper The Knowledge entertainment supplement on Saturday September 24th.

BBC Classic Albums online has just posted a rave review of Black And White 050505. Please go on the site, read the review and post your own comments about the review and your own thoughts about the album. BBC online are pretty good at updating their reviews with readers' comments.

Jim is now on the cover of Audience Magazine.

Various chart positions from around Europe:

  • Belgium: Home 20
  • Belgium: Black And White 050505 6
  • Germany: Home 53
  • Germany: Black And White 050505 6
  • Italy: Home 18
  • Italy: Black And White 050505 7
  • Poland: Home 39 (Polish Radio 3)

The band performing Home for German TV Total can be viewed here - and it looks like Mark Taylor is on keyboards.

This is all very silly tabloid stuff... but still, it's entertaining, and it made the front page.

It's Simply Not Fer!
Kerr's fury as Franz top T In The Park 2006 Bill

Franz Ferdinand have won the most bitter battle Scots music history - to headline next years T in the Park festival ahead of Simple Minds. T Bosses brokered a secret £1 million deal to get both bands - but Simple Minds front man Jim Kerr is furious that Alex Kapranos and the Ferdies have got the nod for the closing Saturday night slot. A festival insider said last night "Jim is far from amused. But the bosses are adamant that Franz Ferdinand are THE band of the moment.

Franz v Minds

Scots rocks biggest heavyweights ready to do battle.... but young challengers will win!

Scots superstar Jim Kerr has swallowed his pride and given the nod to Franz Ferdinand to close next years T in the Park.The multi millionaire Simple Minds star has secured a megabucks deal to perform alongside the indie heroes at the giant festival. But a furious row broke out behind the scenes over which home grown group will close the show for 75,000 fans on the main stage at Balado, Perthshire next Summer. We can reveal that within the last 48 hours a secret £1 million deal has been brokered for both top-selling bands to play back-to-back performances on Saturday July 9th.

Franz Ferdinand will cement their reputation as the hottest rock act in the world when their second album....You could have it so much better with... is released next month.

But as leader of Scotland's biggest ever group, Simple Minds front man Kerr is believed to be privately seething that the Ferdies have demanded to go on last.

Kerr, 46, will take to the stage immediately before them for Simple Minds first ever appearance in the 13-year history of Scotland's No. 1 pop bash. And last night a festival insider said, "This news will set up the biggest Scottish rock clash of all time", "Simple Minds are in the middle of staging a major comeback and feel they should close the show on their debut appearance and apparently are far from amused with the situation. But the promoters are adamant that Franz Ferdinand are THE band of the moment and there couldn't be a better act to close the show on Saturday. Its traditionally the most prestigious slot of the weekend and attracts the biggest crowds."

Scotland's top music mogul, Alan McGee is already rubbing his hands at the prospect of the clash of the rock giants. Tycoon McGee, 45 is the man who discovered Oasis and is appearing as DJ at his popular club night Rock n Roll promz at Glasgow's ABC venue tonight. He said "This is going to be some double whammy for Scotland. Its a fascinating bill and the fans will love it. If the Minds play their big hits they'll go down an absolute storm and Franz Ferdinand are one of the biggest new bands on earth. Their time is now and that's why they should be headlining" He added "Jim Kerr is a smashing bloke and he should be big enough to pass the baton to Alex Kapranos and the rest of the Franz boys. Jim has nothing to worry about. Simple Minds are still a great band and they will quite rightly get all the respect they deserve from the fans and the other acts at T In The Park."

Glasgow band Simple Minds is one of the few major Scottish rock groups never to have played at the festival. in the past multi-millionaire singer Jim has claimed they have never been asked to perform at the giant outdoor pop party, which is expected to attract 140,000 fans next July 9 & 10. But he recently said "The Simple Minds sound is built for the big stage and it would be nice to be asked to play T in the Park". Simple Minds are poised for an amazing comeback and have been gaining rave reviews for their new album Black And White 050505. And the band - who has sold a staggering 30 million records in their 80's and 90's heyday - are said to be fuming at Franz Ferdinand nicking their festival crown. The groups are believed to have been paid £1 million between them for the Saturday night gigs. The insider added, "At one stage Simple Minds were so huge that they might have actually been too BIG to play T in the park. Down the years there has been a lot of speculation as to why the Minds never appeared. But they feel that with the resurgence of interest in their music recently, there could have been no better time to do it than next summer. But although they realize that Franz Ferdinand are one of the hottest new bands on the planet, they're a bit miffed that the lads will be getting the VIP treatment and the best spot on the bill."

Franz Ferdinand - famous for hits like Take Me Out and Matinee - went down a storm when they blew away 60,000 fans with a sizzling set on the main stage in 2004. They've since gone on to sell more than three million copies of their self titled debut album and are expected to shoot straight to No 1 with their new single Do You Want To? And singer Alex Kapranos has already hinted he is looking forward to headlining at T. He said earlier this year "We were disappointed to miss T in the Park this year - that was our highlight of 2004. Hopefully we'll do it next year if they let us back."

Ten years ago, the T in the Park chiefs who claimed the band was too OLD for the festival gave stadium kings Simple Minds a knockback. It also didn't help that at one time the groups best-known anthem Alive And Kicking was used as the soundtrack to a television advertising campaign for McEwen's lager* - the direct rival of T in the Park sponsors - Tennents.

(*I'm not sure this is true. Whilst McEwen's wanted to use Alive And Kicking, and based the tagline around the song's title, the band refused, and so Win's You've Got The Power was used insted - Simon)

U - turn

The T promoters said at the time "We were approached by Simple Minds, but we felt it would turn into a home coming gig for them. We want the event to reflect the current music scene - and Simple Minds smacked too much of old school" But it appears the festival bosses have finally now done a u-turn and opened the door for a memorable Simple Minds appearance. This years event starring Greenday, Travis, The Killers etc. - pulled record breaking crowds of 140,000 over the weekend. Next years capacity is set to be increased. Around 25,000 tickets for 2006 were snapped up within 3 hours when they went up for sale just 2 days after this year bash ended in July. The festival is expected to sell out in record time when the rest of the briefs become available in the New Year.

The SUN says

Barely had the last notes faded from T in the Park 2005 when tens of thousands of tickets were sold for next years festival. And now, still ten months away from 2006's opening act, we already have the first battle of the bands. Franz Ferdinand - Scotland's hottest group - have stolen the headlining spot from our most successful rockers of all time, Simple Minds.

Their veteran front man Jim Kerr is fuming that young pretenders Franz have taken the prime spot his super group might have expected at their Balado debut. While the Ferdies can justifiably claim the crown for their enormous current following. The real winners in this spat will be the fans, with two fantastic performances in prospect. But a word of warning; Last time someone took a pop at Franz Ferdinand it started a war. LET BATTLE COMMENCE!

Scottish Daily Sun
22nd September 2005

There's a new cover version of Theme For Great Cities doing the rounds. By Australian electro band Angel Theory, it's apparently a fairly decent version.

There has been a great deal of difficulty selecting the new single from the album. Not for lack of suitable material, but because there's simply too much. Contenders included Different World (TAORMINA.ME) and The Jeweller (Part Two) (which is its second time considered, as it was recognised as good, strong, single stock by Chrysalis back in 2000).

Sanctuary were more inclined to go with Stay Visible; perhaps a reason for it being performed on Jonathan Ross' show this evening. An edit was prepared, but I don't think anyone was happy with it.

Instead, Stranger has been selected as the second single from Black And White 050505.

Great Minds - Live
Saturday 22nd October

Pivo Pivo
15 Waterloo Street

What’s the story?

there’s a Simple Minds fan meet up taking place in Glasgow 21st – 23rd october 2005. It was hoped that sample MINDS (the Simple Minds tribute band) would be able to perform at this event, though due to other commitments this was sadly not to be.

For several years, sample MINDS keyboard player Simon had been pondering about performing a set of his popular Simple Minds re-works live – and this seemed like an ideal opportunity to test the water.

Thus with the blessing of the other sample MINDS band members - GREAT MINDS were born!

Dave from the band has kindly stepped up to play guitar and with the help of some serious ‘automation’ the gruesome twosome intend to deliver a stunning collection of vintage Simple Minds material.

Essentially, expect NONE of the hits and a lot of surprises!!! (Stuff like Scar, 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall and 30 Frames A Second.)

We looked at a lot of possibilities spanning the whole of Simple Minds’ back catalogue, finally deciding on about a dozen tracks. A good portion of this collection focuses on the pre New Gold Dream era with some great forgotten classics that Dave and I always wanted to play (or indeed hear Simple Minds play live!). There’s sure to be a lot of late nights programming and rehearsing to drag these songs into the 21st century and I’m curious to hear the final result.” - Simon Hayward

GREAT MINDS will be supporting the excellent Glasgow band The Tracks, whose debut album was produced by none other than the legendary Simple Minds keyboard maestro Mick MacNeil. It’s rumoured that Mick will be at the gig – so no pressure on the guys!!!

GREAT MINDS are expected on stage at 9PM.

Further details / updates available at:

Simon Hayward

Just confirmed...

September 24th, New Pop Festival, Baden-Baden, Germany (see SWR3's website for more information.)

January 31st, Waterfront, Belfast. Tickets on sale Today!
March 16th, Den Atelier, Luxembourg

July 9th-10th, Main Stage, T-In-The-Park, Scotland (tickets on sale in January).
(There was a slight tiff as to who would headline: Simple Minds v. Franz Ferdinand - the new boys won out in the end).

Jim mentioned in an inteview with the Italian free magazine Metro that the tour will kick off in January in Italy. At the moment, this isn't confirmed.

Don't forget - the band are appearing on the Jonathan Ross show this Friday.

Simple Minds are on the front cover of Audience magazine. This magazine is published in the UK on Friday (subscription only). If you want to order this particular issue, please email the magazine directly. Go to their site to grab the contact details -

Whilst Home just missed the Top 40 (it was 41), it did reach number 2 in the official Indie Single Chart. It also entered the German chart at 55.

Unfortunately the album only made number 37 in the album chart.

The Madrid gig will be at Aqualung (Paseo de la Ermita del Santo, 48 - Madrid; 91 470 24 61). The show is organsied by Europa FM and tickets can be won from the radio station now.

More information here (where you can win tickets) and here.

A full review of The Venue gig in London last week can be found here. Signed copies of the album and set-lists can be won through Capital Gold - the compeition runs until October so there's plenty of time to enter.

More pictures from the gig can be found here.

And other reviews:
Music OMH
The Critic

Jim can be found talking about the new album, and the band's old videos, on VH1 Classic Special at the moment. It's on heavy rotation (will be aired 10 times over the next week) so it should be easy to catch it.

Black And White 050505 is album of the month on "It was hard to decide, because we had to deal with some very good albums (Death Cab For Cutie, Phillip Boa, The Rakes, Dandy Warhols et. al.), but we decided to choose Simple Minds. The review is already online (in french though, and the "album of the month" thing will be put online today. Basically, the review is about how good their album is and how the kids should notice this band that influenced Editors or The Departure. I also insist on the point that it is not another 80's revival band - and that they should take U2's place."

" is read by thousands of readers a day and is therefore the first musical webzine in France and Belgium, so I hope that this review will help promoting this fantastic new album. I bought it in Brussels last monday, and I had to go through three record shops before finding it, because they were already out of stock!"

Albin Wagener

And the news from ITN...

And a video stream from Swedish webTV Aftonbladet (which starts rather nicely with the Don't You (Forget About Me) video).

Simple Minds haven't exactly mattered since 1985. Their catalogue is sketchy at best, and they're mostly remembered for a handful of songs that only serve to make us nostalgic for the 80s. Where could they fit in? Well, the first track is awful U2-sounding business, but from then on it gets better. Home has a dark road-trip feel, and the rest is nice atmospheric, spacious electro-pop, easy on the ears. A sense of déjà vu seems unavoidable, and if Simple Minds didn't maintain that lonesome sonic landscape we'd be accusing them of trying to be something they're not. Not sure this'll break any ground or even put them back on the cultural radar. Sure, Duran Duran made a comeback, but let's face it – little girls everywhere weren't going to bed at night dreaming about Jim Kerr.

3 out of 5
Eye Magazine

SIMPLE MINDS - Black & White 050505
Most famous for the 80s hit, Don't You (Forget About Me), the Scottish band who defined the generation are back - and what a surprise. Sounding every bit as good at the height of their fame, Black And White 050505 is strong, with the epic anthemic sound embodying everything the band were revered for. Best tracks include Home, The Jeweller (Part 2) and Dolphins.

Press Association in the UK

Music correspondent, Paul Taylor of the Manchester Evening News has just reviewed the new Simple Minds album.

Simple Minds, 10th September 2005
Freeport Alcochete, Portugal


Rebirth of the Phoenix

It’s always hard to keep the distance and write about something that is dear to one self. Facing the danger of sounding more like a fan than a journalist, I’ll just stick with the facts.

Close to achieving 30 years of making music, Simple Minds ended up proving that they are alive and kicking, like a reborn phoenix. A sold out gig was there to ensure that the band hasn’t being falling into oblivion, like some critics tend to whisper, but that was an unanimous desire to listen and experience live the new songs for the upcoming album Black And White 050505.

In front of an anxious crowd of 2000 people, the band stepped into the stage and unfolded the new sound of Stay Visible, even not knowing the lyrics the answer was enthusiastic, soon followed Home and Jeweller (Part Two) but the crowd was holding up their breath for the classics.

It was clear the band was enjoying themselves, as they usually do, and there was no distance between Jim Kerr’s energy and the fans, the feeling tended to grow while songs like Love Song, Mandela Day, Book of Brilliant Things or the ballistic Waterfront set the people on fire.

Songs like Don’t You (Forget About Me) or Alive And Kicking tend to make a huge impact, even if you don’t know the band, you’ll know the lyrics and, obviously, the visual and sound effect of them echoing in the air makes them necessary to be played, definitely it’s not their best creation, and in spite of the fame they have, surely they can’t compete with the sensual charm of Big Sleep or New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), sounding more up to date than ever.

It’s like a time travel, back and forth, old and new, makes us think that the new material is as retro as the first records… or is the early work more avant garde? In the end doesn’t really matter. The mutual satisfaction among crowd and band tell us a story of a gig that served its purpose, it was a perfect way to promote the new album and an excellent teaser for the tour that is to come, hopefully stepping one more time in Lisbon.


Set List

Stay Visible
Jeweller (Part Two)
Love Song
Mandela Day
Don’t You (Forget About Me)
Big Sleep
Alive And Kicking
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Theme For Great Cities
Sanctify Yourself



As promised after the gig the Freeport organization threw a tribute party for the band at the Cuba Rock Club. Charlie Burchill, Mel Gaynor, Eddie Duffy and Andy Gillespie were all there mingling with strangers and fans while a couple of drinks were taken in the mist of eighties sounds. On my behalf I can only say it was a great night and the boys in the band showed a lot of good spirit. We thank you guys for the show and definitely we’re waiting for a quick comeback to Portugal.

Rute Ventura

Simple Minds will be honoured with a lifetime award on the German Channel 2 (ZDF) on October 1st, and will play three songs live. The show is called New Pop Festival 2005.

The Simple Minds tribute album, Swimming Towards the Sun, is now being sold entirely to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims. The profits were never enough to allow me to give significant royalties to the bands involved. So, I have taken all money made so far (with the blessing of the bands who responded to me) and donated it to the American Red Cross, specifically to help New Orleans and surrounding areas to get back on their feet. And all digital and CD sales profits go directly to this cause now. No one makes any profit from the album now. After the distributors take their small cut, all proceeds go to the Red Cross.

As a reminder, Swimming Towards the Sun can be downloaded from iTunes (whole album is $10 US dollars, 8 UK pounds, or 10 euros) and the following link might actually open up iTunes and display it: playlistId=63011360&s=143444&i=63011327.

It's available in the U.S. store, the U.K. store, and probably the rest as well. 30 second sound samples can be heard via iTunes.

CDBaby is currently out of discs (I'll send more to them today). But if you want to buy an actual CD (10 US dollars), then go here later next week when they're back in stock:

Here are some nice reviews from people who bought the CD via CD Baby:

"A Simple Minds tribute CD was well overdue and this is a great find. There's a couple of standout tracks including The Dissidents cover of Waterfront. Most of this material should be getting radio airplay and the packaging and artwork is very professional. There is one thing lacking in the package though. Information about the bands or artists on the album. Tributes to Led Zeppelin (Encomium - Atlantic 1995), ZZ Top (Sharp Dressed Men - RCA 2002) AC-DC (Fuse Box - Ariola 1995) and The Carpenters (If I Were A Carpenter - A&M 1994) all had notes about the bands and why they chose those songs. A little background info would have been great. There is also something missing - a cover of one of Simple Minds biggest hits Glittering Prize. Other than that it's a great tribute album. I give it 3 Jim Kerrs."

"Really shocked at this brilliant work by all the artists, really exciting,and doesnt lose the magic minds heartbeat! Brilliant!!!"

"Great to listen to my favourite bands music transformed into another piece of art. Excellent production."

My response to the first review is -- great idea, but it wouldn't work well with a digipak. We used to have a website where this sort of thing could be easily done. But it's unfortunately been retired.

Thanks to EVERYONE who has already supported this brilliant album. Thanks to ANYONE who is going to buy it in the future. And thanks to the utterly AWESOME bands who performed the songs. Now that it is making money (albeit very little) and that money is going to a good cause, the project has really come full circle.

Mike Simpson

The mystery of the 3rd CD of Home has been solved. It's a European version of the second UK CD, and the only difference is whilst the UK CD is in a standard jewelcase, the European version is in a slimline jewelcase.

The Hungarian Simple Minds Fan Club are having a release party this Saturday. "It is organized by The Hungarian Simple Minds Fan Club, in association with CLS Records (the company that releases the album here). The party will be held in a club in downtown Budapest on 24th September, starts at 21.00 and we plan to finish the party by 4.00 AM. at midnight we will have some giveaways and presents to the luckiest guests there offered by the record company. There are also promotional postcards (with the same image as featured on the flyer) circulating all around the city."

A great, great gig last night. One of the best performances of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) I've heard yet. Big Sleep appeared for the first time this tour, and the band kicked off with Home. Stay Visible, Jeweller (Part Two) and Stranger also appeared from the new album.

David Jensen introduced the show which was filmed and recorded.

The audio will be mixed later this week for broadcast on Capital Gold Sunday evening.

Found the album in HMV for £9.99 - bargain!

Simple Minds live at Fabchannel.Com
New record ‘Black and White 050505’ in broadband streaming video

The 17th of September, Simple Minds will present their new record called Black And White 050505 at Paradiso Amsterdam. will webcast the entire concert live on the Internet. In video and audio. The webcast starts at 20.30 CET. Afterwards the concert will be included in the online archive at Both live and on demand the concert of Simple Minds is free for everybody to watch.

Simple Minds was founded in Glasgow in 1978 by college friends Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill. From a post-punk art rock band Simple Minds evolved into a grand epic-sounding pop band. With Don’t You (Forger About Me) they scored their greatest hit in 1985. In the 80’s New Wave revival of this moment also the Simple Minds make a comeback with a new album.

Fabchannel weekly webcasts concerts, performances and lectures from Paradiso on the Internet. Besides live webcasts offers an extensive online videoarchive including 380 concerts of artists like Morcheeba, Sonic Youth, Arcade Fire, Low, Stereophonics, Street Dogs, Mocky, The Dears, Presidents of the USA and Sarah Bettens.

Simple Minds will be playing an 'intimate' gig in Madrid on the 25th September. More details as the news comes in.

Sunday Times Scotland
Interview with Jim Kerr

Daily Express: 9th Sept 2005
4 out of 5

The Times: 10th Sept 2005
3 out of 5

Daily Star
With pristine production values and some of their best tunes in ages, this comeback album doesn't quite recapture the brilliance of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), but with songs such as Home and the title track prove there is plenty of life in the old dogs yet. Don't you forget about them. Again.
3 out of 5.

Sunday Times: 11th Sept 2005
You either believe that the world needs another Simple Minds album, or you don't. If the former, the new album will scatch every itch; the latter, and all your prejudicial bunions will be trodden on. Jim Kerr does his huffing, puffing, Billy Goat-gruffing vocals; Charlie Burchill wields a formidable axe; and the whole sorry affair sounds ProTooled to within an inch of its life. It would have been interesting if they'd returned to the esoterica of Sons And Fascination and Sister Feelings Call. But hopes of a comeback see them, on woeful lighters-in-the-air blast of bombast such as Stranger and The Jeweller (Part Two), press the stadium-rock button and head off, flatulently, into outer space.
2 out of 5

Sunday Express: 11th Sept 2005
They lost their way with a ropy "covers" album, but it's lighters aloft as Jim Kerr and Co. return to the glorious, wide-screen sound of the Glittering Prize era. Kerr's voice has lost a bit of its Bono-esque bounce but he uses its gruff maturity to advantage on slower songs like Dolphins.
3 out of 5
8½ of out 10
4 of out 5

Sunday Mail: 11th Sept 2005
Scotland rocks with 80's faves Simple Minds back on top form in Tut's!
Frontman Jim Kerr lead a rejuvinated Minds back to their roots with a sneak preview of their stunning new album Black And White 050505 and an impressive collection of their greatest hits.
At their peak, the band filled huge stadiums and arenas all over the world, but their choice of the legendary King Tut's for their comeback made this a night to remember for the lucky few in attendance.
Opening with Stay Visible, new single Home and without doubt a future single Jeweller To The Stars, the atmosphere was electric and judging by the reaction of stalwarts Kerr, guitarist Charlie Burchill and drummer Mel Gaynor, newcomers Eddie Duffy on bass and Andy Gillespie on keyboards, thery are more than capable of climbing back to the top.
Love Song started a collection of their gretest hits including Speed Your Love, oldie Premonition, Alive And Kicking and Waterfront recieved a rapturous welcome with the frontman taking a backseat and letting the mesmorised crowd take over.
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) eneded an amazing set but with the band and crowd enjoying every minute, they re-appeared for a five-song encore including new song Stranger and old favourites Don't You (Forget About Me) and Sanctify Yourself.
5 out of 5.

Collectors should look out for the Russian edition of Black And White 050505. The album features an extra nine bonus tracks but it's not extra rarities or Home B-sides. Instead, its a selection of previous singles i.e. Waterfront, Love Song, Someone Somewhere (In Summertime), The American, Promised You A Miracle, Speed Your Love To Me, Glittering Prize, Let There Be Love and the uncredited All The Things She Said.

Home reached number 41 in the UK chart.

Disappointing, but still their best UK chart performance since 1998's Glitterball.

The set-list at Lisbon was:

Stay Visible/Home/The Jeweller (Part 2)/Love Song/Waterfront/Mandela Day/Alive And Kicking/New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)/ Theme For Great Cities/Stranger/Space/Don´t You (Forget About Me)/Sanctify Yourself

For those who missed Jim chatting with David 'Kid' Jensen, the Capital Gold interview can now be found in bite-sized pieces on their website.

Musicomh provide an 'interesting' review of Home.

In the nicest possible sense, Glaswegian colossi Simple Minds were once U2's greatest adversaries and had the sales statistics to prove it. But it was Bono who got to meet the Pope and save the world while Jim Kerr opened a sushi restaurant. If that doesn't sound fair then it's because it isn't. Black And White 050505 sounds no less effectual than anything Simple Minds produced as globe-straddling aristocrats of late Eighties rock--comparisons with their earlier post-New Wave output is another matter entirely--with only Jim Kerr's intermittent although faithfully characteristic melodrama suggesting the band dates from a time when grand gesturing meant bums on seats and lighters in air.

It would be crass folly to class Black And White 050505 as a return to form merely because the belatedly-released "lost" album Our Secrets Are The Same and 2002's Cry had much more to recommend them than vain commentators would ever give them credit for. So what's the score here? Top drawer pop embellished with love and money lavishment; Stay Visible, Home (like a mature Interpol) and the resurrected Jeweller meriting particular distinction. But perhaps the blue riband should be granted to downer epilogue Dolphins; sentimental, atmospheric, gripping and what Bowie would have sounded like with an aching concern for the preservation of marine biology. Beached whales? Simple Minds sound like sleeping giants. They ain't dead yet.

Kevin Maidment

The Surfing Brides' (Sean Kelly/Jez Coed) new album features a song called Television. Too Much Television?. Needs checking out.

French fans: Win tickets to see Simple Minds at Le Reservoir in Paris on the 23rd September by entering the competition on

Currently riding high with a new studio album released by Sanctuary Records on Monday September 12th, Record Collector magazine calls Black And White 050505 "an astounding return to form." To mark the occasion, Simple Minds have announced a major 2006 European Tour that kicks off in Dublin on February 1st.

U.K. Tour Dates
03/02/06 Music Hall, Aberdeen
05/02/06 Academy, Glasgow
06/02/06 Academy, Newcastle
07/02/06 Rock City, Nottingham
09/02/06 Academy, Birmingham
10/02/06 Academy, Manchester
12/02/06 Dome, Brighton
13/02/06 Astoria, London

All doors - 7pm
To order tickets call 0870 400 0688
or visit

To view the full press release, and for all European Tour Dates, click here:

I've created my own tour page for 2006: you know the score by now; all pictures, set-lists, trivia and other bits and pieces gratefully received. Booking agents are also listed.

Booking information for Paris and a second night at London is also included.

Jim will be interviewed on BBC Radio 2's The Johnnie Walker Show between 5-7pm on Friday September 16th (next Friday).

Daily Express: 9th September 2005
With every hip band at the moment stealing their riffs and style, it seems only fair that Simple Minds have returned to show how it's done. For a band with an Eighties heyday, this is a surprisingly tight record, full of sharp, epic-sounding pop tunes and precious little filler. A very welcome return. ****

The Sun: 9th September 2005
If you thought Simple Minds records were best locked away with your old Pac Man game, Rubik's Cube and other Eighties paraphernalia the you're wrong.
This 14th album from Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill is a return to form for the Scots group who have experienced a career of ups and downs.
Single Home, inspired by Kerr's hometown of Taormina, is a delight while Stay Visible mixes piano and strings in a beguiling way and Different World keeps the momentum.
There's no nostalgic sound to this album, either. While they'll never regain the same levels of their former glory, this might surprise you.
PlayLouder interviews Jim Kerr

Sunday Herald newspaper interviews Jim Kerr

The US release of Black And White 050505 has been delayed until the February 2006. Interesting, and of huge interest to US fans, reported the delay back in August, but suggested that this was due to US tour plans.

It is believed the release of the DVD-Audios has also been delayed.

(Unfortunately I can't find a source for this on

The band will be performing on the Jonathan Ross Show on Friday, 23rd September (BBC 1).

After the great interview with Derek in Guitar And Bass magazine, Charlie will be featured in the October issue.

Jim was recently interviewed by who've also reviewed the album.

You can also give to charity as you buy the album. Check out for more details.

This was one of the first interviews promoting Black And White 050505 that Jim gave. Originally given to a interviewer for Italian TV (it was featured in Italian here), it's been translated into English by Elisabetta. Thanks to her and Joelle.

After the return of New Order and Depeche Mode, Duran Duran and Tears For Fears (like we were right in the middle of the 80's) only Simple Minds were missing, and they are back with a new cool record.

But they don't play for revival. A relaxed Mr Kerr passing quickly through Milan said "Our intention was clear from the beginning. We wanted a record with the classic sound of Simple Minds but with a new strength and energy. The problem was how to do that without falling into parody wich is very fashionable at the moment."

"You can't go back in time, but we intentionally avoided computers and the possibility they give to work from a distance. We gathered in a room in Taormina to play, recordings were made in Amsterdam and mixed by "wizard" Bob Clearmountain in LA."

"Together we wrote the songs, improvised, discussed and fought, like the old times, but it's harder now as an adult than when we were nineteen and shared targets and aspirations."

"Charlie and I have been schoolmates since we were eight. My mum alway reminds me that the relationship with Charlie has lasted much more than my marriages."

"Why does it still work between us? I think because we both have strong sides and weaknesses, because we're different and complete each other. We're not like Jagger and Richards but I, for example, love to go bed early and he's a night-owl. In common we share the love for the band. We love what we do and never surrendered. We both found in Italy the ideal place to live, and this is not accidental."

"We really care about this return, so much that the date has been put in the record title. There's nothing mysterious in the title, we just wanted to reaffirm our return and what we are nowadays."

"On the cover there's a heart made with two hands, but I admit that the big heart of Simple Minds had almost stopped to beat in the last 10 years. It wasn't a crisis, but a doubtful period about ourselves, the industry we work in and how is difficult to find motivation."

"We tried to hook into the big music business some time ago with a campaign linked to Vodafone with a Don't You (Forget About Me) remix in an Italian Tv promotion. But the thing ended in an Italian way, with a trial that will never end. That's a pity because at Carosello Records we found good people, but we had to look around and find our own solution."

"Now we're independent and self-financed, and in Sanctuary Records we found people who still love music."

Q: The first songs of the album Stay Visible and Home (the first single) bring back the epic typical sound of Simple Minds. “Big music” like their fellow-countryman Mike Scott of the Waterboys (who invented this definition) would say. Would this be related to the nature of Scottish people?

A: "I'd say yes. English people for example, are used to misunderstanding. They criticize us, mixing greatness with pompousness. But this is not the case: we Scottish are used to the greatness of landscapes, we're not scared by large spaces and large proportions. And there's no need to live in the Highlands to feel this sensation. I grew up in Glasgow for example, an asphalt jungle, but I lived on the 22nd floor and I almost could touch the sky. And then usually Scottish are big and tall, with a big self-esteem. Mike Scott was right: we have a trend towards greatness which is also in the Irish nature, think about U2's music.

Q: How did you get over the creative impasse after all these years?

A: "In the past I wrote songs everywhere, in luxury hotel rooms, in loathsome basements. And in any kind of mood, when I was happy and when I was scared. But in the last two to three years, living in Sicily, I achieved a well-being status that pushed me back to work. I'm not the kind of guy who spends all day long on the beach when there's a nice sun in the morning. When I feel fine I want to work: the place I live in helps a lot, I just need to forget for a while what's happening in Palestine or about newspaper headlines.

A: I don't really know how I ended up living in Sicily, but I know I found what I was looking for, some kind of inner peace. Different World (TAORMINA.ME) on the new album talks about this, it's a song describing the feelings whilst looking at the Sicilian sky. I tried not to exaggerate with sentimentalism, but it hasn't been easy. I feel different now. Even if the new record goes to number one in the charts, I'll keep living in Taormina.

Q: There's no longing for the times when you were dominating the golden pop world with Simple Minds?

A: No, don't misunderstand me, I loved to live that period even if sometimes excess of succes was scary and we did our foolish things. We also did good records, though, and we became a reference band for our generation. It would be nonsense to ask for more, today. But if it arrives,we'll certainly won't say no!

Q: What about the social commitment in your songs? Looks it's still there (“Black And White, the song, talks about holocausts enduring all over the world) but after Mandela Day and the Live Aid period, Simple Minds disappeared from the political side of international rock.

A: The main reason is what we were talking about before. We're not Number One anymore, and I'm not on a stage haranguing crowds. But I still like to know what's going on in the world. Songs like Black And White should work in a different way, on a different level: while I was writing, the media were celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation, and I was shocked to read how many people in newspapers, Italian ones too, kept denying the existence of the Holocaust. Ridiculous, with all that is happening today in Tibet, or Rwanda ... the song is not talking clearly about this, but these thoughts are inside. This is just a song, of course, but I like it when pop music faces serious themes.

A: Stay Visible, for example, was inspired by a wonderful book by French-Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun This Blinding Absence Of Light. It's the true story of political prisoners kept for ten years in underground jails who managed to survive only by inventing a fantasy world. A brilliant and poetical book.

Q: OK, but what happened to Simple Minds between Live Aid and Live 8?

A: Maybe it's just a feeling I have but I think the world today is much more complicated. At that time divisions were clear and sharp. Rights respected and rights unrespected. Apartheid and anti-apartheid. Berlin wall, east and west. Reagan and Thatcher.

A: Today, instead, we have Tony Blair, things are less black or white, edges are more blurred. At the time of Live Aid, Bob Geldof was asking for money from the rich countries: nowadays he does not, because he realized how complicated it is to manage money collected through charity, if you don't have the right infrastructure.

A:: I became more cynical. It's much harder for me to believe in the honesty of political process, I think you can't be elected without giving in to corruption. Governments are fu**ing business companies. I felt a little embarassed in seeing all those musicians half-aged, white and billionaire, on a stage. I'd have loved to see more collaboration with African musicians, who were practically left out. It was a commercial operation, but it would have been nice to see, I don't know, Pink Floyd playing with a Senegalese musician.

A: Do you want to know if I believe in Bono and Geldof's sincerity?. Of course I do. But let's tell the truth: does the world still care, one week after the Live 8 concerts? No, everyone has returned to think about their own business.

And another interview from August. Jim was a guest on Kirsty and Phil's morning sports show, on Radio 5 Live on the 20th August. ALthough some of the banter was about Celtic, there were plenty of plugs for the new album and Simple Minds. I can be heard here but hasn't been trimmed, so Jim appears an hour into the show.

It's going to be a long day....

Jim will be on the Breakfast Show of Century FM 105.40 North West. Hope you like early starts, as the Breakfast Show starts at 5:30 AM.

At far more civilized time, he'll be on Capital Gold from 10PM. So, there should be a good chance of trying to grab/win Venue tickets.

Tickets have just gone on sale for The Olympia in Paris for March 15th. They can be bought from or

Plus there's going to be a promo gig in Paris on the 23rd September. No more details at the moment...

I've now updated the tour page with information, set-lists and trivia.

Mid-week chart returns suggest Home is expected to chart between 30 and 40 in this week's Top 40.

This will be the band's best chart performance since 1998's Glitterball.

Black And White 050505 is reviewed in the October issue of Record Collector. There's also an interview with Jim but it goes over familiar ground.

Simple Minds
Black And White 050505

Jesus! Just how many Viagra did these boys take?

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, Simple Minds were not only up there with U2 but a short nose ahead, Jim Kerr and the boys filling stadiums and pounding out anthems like Waterfront into the lighter illuminated night. Falling from chart grace, they soldiered on, although after covers album Neon Lights one wondered if minds had been lost along with band members. But the jokes must stop, as Black And White is an astounding return to form.

Core members Kerr and Charlie Burchill have gone back to the basics of the Simple Minds sound and written a lean nine-song album heavy on anthems that contains no fat and no filler. Stay Visible sets the tone, with Burchill carving out a stringing guitar melody that unleashes a re-invigorated Kerr. Home, Stranger and Underneath The Ice continue an ascent that is almost Apollo-like in its vertical momemtum.

Jeweller and Kiss The Ground are also fine examples of Kerr's ability to put Bono in the shade as a writer of image, evoking lyrical Pandora. All told a perfect rock album and perfect material to be belted out live in venues ranging from medium-sized clubs to lighter-illuminated stadiums.

Ian Shirley
Record Collector
October 2005

The DVD-Audios of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Once Upon A Time will be released in the US on the 13th September (same day as the album).

More information than you could possibly need.

(Incidentally, a third version of the single is listed on Sanctuary's web site. With a catalogue number of SANXD388X, it appears to have the same artwork as the maxi-CD. Does anyone know more?)

The King Tut gig is now available via streaming audio from Radio Clyde. Plus some pictures.

It sounded like a great show last night. And there were several old favourites on the set-list:

Stay Visible
Jeweller (Part Two)
Love Song
East At Easter
Speed Your Love To Me
Alive And Kicking
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Don't You (Forget About Me)
Sanctify Yourself

And, of course, Home is released today.

The 'intimate' gig in London will be held on September 13th at The Venue, where Simple Minds will be performing at one of Capital Gold's Live Legends events. Jim was interviewed by David 'Kid' Jensen Saturday night as part of the promotion.

There are two ways to win tickets:

  1. By phone-in. When you hear a Simple Minds track played, get on the phone. I assume this is TODAY.
  2. By registering as a Capital Gold VIP listener and entering their on-line competition. (And the question isn't ambigous as's latest comp was).

See for all the info.

Remember to listen in to Billy's show on Radio Clyde this Sunday night
King Tut's Live.

(See news of 2nd September for listening instructions)

In mid-July, I spoke to Ronald Prett on the 'phone about the New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Once Upon A Time DVD-Audio releases. Here's the interview:

SC: How did the project come about?
RP: Simple Minds use Simon Heyworth as their remaster engineer, and he'd previousy worked on their remastered albums.

Simon and I have been good friends for about five years and we worked on surround sound projects together. So the band was talking to Simon about an EMI surround sound project, and he was talking to me about it. At the same time, I was talking to DTS about a surround sound project, and DTS suggested Simple Minds as well. So it came from two angles. I couldn't say no!

So I worked on these surround sound albums with Simon. These are remixes, not remasters. That makes a big difference.

SC: Who was involved?
RP: Simple Minds wanted Simon to oversee it, so he liased with the record company and the band, and was the overall project coordinator. Then the long process of finding all the multi-track master tapes started, finding the original versions, and finding new versions on these 2" analogue tapes.

SC: What was the process remixing these albums?
RP: There are usually three songs per multi-track tape (they're played at high speed for quality). The original production notes tell you which is the master, which are not to be used (which usually don't have vocals) and which are alternatives. So, it's mostly various takes with no vocals. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) is further problematical as different parts of different takes were used to create the master.

The first job was to recreate the original album from the multi-track tapes. We mixed and recreated the albums from the original equipment (I've got an old Lexicon and EMT echo-tapes). Luckily the documentation by Bob Clearmountain for Once Upon A Time was very clear. But we wanted to add more as this is 2005.

It was an exciting time, really great, great fun to recreate the albums. Charlie often visited the studio and oversaw the mixing. (Jim wasn't involved as he was busy with Black And White 050505). "To hear my music like this is like reliving it again." Charlie actually recalled playing many of the alternative versions that never made the final album.

It was originally planned to use the same fades as the albums but it was Charlie's idea to include alternative versions and to use the full length versions, as he thought fans would appreciate it [and boy was he right! - SC]. As we had more space on the DVD, we could add bits which weren't used before, or highlight parts that couldn't be heard. There was more unused material on the New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) tapes than Once Upon A Time - what you hear on the Once Upon A Time DVD is what's on the master.

SC: Why were two tracks on New Gold Dream in stereo?
RP: Unfortunately the multi-tracks of Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel and Promised You A Miracle are missing - so we had to use the original stereo masters.

Therefore Charlie suggested adding Every Heaven as a bonus to make up for it. However, everyone was amazed when they discovered an early take with vocals - so this was used on the album.

SC: Why does the title track fade out quickly?
RP: As for New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) itself, the unexpected fade was down to Charlie and Simon Heyworth (who prepared the final mix), so they're the ones to ask.

It was a nice walk down memory lane. I started as a fan 25 years ago, and now I was in the studio with them - which was a funny experience!

The music is still powerful as it was recorded as it was played - there was no need to edit much. And this gives it its magic.

Ronald Prett/Simon Cornwell
14th July 2005

Flemish paper De Morgen has a five page interview with Jim in today's issue. So those in Belgium or The Netherlands should rush out and buy a copy.

Remember to listen in to Billy's show on Radio Clyde this Sunday night
King Tut's Live.

To listen to Billy's radio show on Sunday in real time, all you have to do is click on the following link -

  • Once you are on the home page, go to the top left hand corner of the page.

  • Once there you will see Billy's photo and it will say "On Air Now".

  • Once you see this, you will also see the words "Listen Now". Simply click on "Listen Now".

  • Do not panic if you do not see Billy's photo in the top left hand corner if you go on the site in advance, as the website automatically changes the photo of the DJ's just as soon as their radio show starts on air.

  • There is no facility to playback the shows as an audio stream. The only way you can listen to the show is if you tune in when the show is live on air.

  • Once you click on the "Listen Now", you'll link into a web page where you can listen to the show in "Real Player" or "Windows Media Player". If you do not have the software on your hard drive, you can download this Radio Clyde 1 link -

To find out more about Billy Sloan and his weekly radio programme, click here:

The Janice Long interview was far better than Richard Allinson's five minute cosy chat and was worth staying up for. Having been both long term residents of the Hotel Columbia in London (Where record companies would hole-up their artists on prolonged studio time), they talked about the hotel, its guests (usually a good proportion of the UK's top 10 every week), cheese sandwiches and Marc Almond's cat.

The interview touched many subjects: Jim's hotel, where the various band members live, how the album came together, Jim's first meeting with Charlie amd the album title.

And interestly, King Tuts was the venue of Johnny And The Self Abuser's second gig. And it turns out that it was orginally called Saints And Sinners. Coincidences.

Unfortunately the e-mail system was down, so Janice couldn't ask any listeners' questions, but promised to forward on all messages. You can listen again to the entire interview via Janice's microsite. Jim's interview started about fifteen minutes into the show. Tracks played included The American, Black And White, Stranger and The Jeweler (Part Two).

After its release on iTunes, Too Much Television now has its own artwork. (Which looks like hands cupping a heart made out of razor blades... please don't ask me, I haven't got the foggiest).

UK tickets are now on sale via Ticketmaster.

(I have two weeks backlogged e-mail to clear, over 100 messages, so if you've waiting for a reply then I'll get it sorted this weekend. Jamie Sinclair: did you get my message as your current address is bouncing).

Jim will be joining Janice Long on her show tonight (midnight - 3 o'clock), BBC Radio 2. However, you don't have to stay up until the small hours to hear it, as you'll be able to listen to the show using Listen Again.

Send questions in via Janice's page.

My apologies for the lack of updates during this intense period; my computer is currently sitting in a box being moved to a new home, so normality should be restored by Friday. (Whatever that is).

Here's a summary of what's happened and what's happening...

The 2006 tour dates eventually appeared on the official site. They were uploaded with the slick professionalism 2fluid are known for. By the time they'd sorted the mess out, all the dates were being circulated on fan-based mailing-lists and forums. The venues, which include the UK and mainland Europe, are smaller than the previous tours.

However, the band are currently playing even smaller venues to promote Black And White 050505, and played Frankfurt on Friday night. The set-list was:

Stay Visible
Different World (TAORMINA.ME)
Don't You (Forget About Me)
Alive and Kicking
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Belfast Child
Sanctify Yourself

(The official site exclusively revealed that the set-list would include Jeweller (Part Two), East is easter(sic) and Factory but exclusively got it wrong yet again).

Monday's NDR show (which featured the same set-list) can be watched in streaming video from their website. Photos can also be seen here and here.

The invitation only show at King Tuts, Glasgow will be broadcast live on Billy Sloan's show this Sunday.

Tickets for Dublin can be purchased from Ticketmaster.

UK tickets go on sale tomorrow from getLIVE ticket sales.

Tickets were on sale for Brussels via but sold out in 45 minutes (see the note about the mailing list below).

German tickets on sale at

Too Much Television has been the first song from the Black And White 050505 sessions to be officially released. It's available as an official download from iTunes (UK site only). are running a competition to win a signed copy of Black And White 050505 by Jim.

At the moment, news is appearing fast e.g. the Belgian gig sold out in 45 minutes! The fastest forum is the Yahoo! Groups where information is dispersed extremely quickly; either browse the messages pages or subscribe to the group for information. (I do have to sleep occasionally so I can't update Dream Giver as quickly!).

(And ignore the stuff about Jim's shoes... that's so 1997).

Simple Minds are currently rehearsing for the 'intimate' tour in Buggenhout in Belgium. Songs being practised include Home, Stranger, Jeweller (Part Two) and (surprisingly) Hello.

A longer performance was also heard which included Different World (TAORMINA.ME), Stay Visible, Home, Factory(!), Waterfront, Don't You (Forget About Me), East At Easter and Ghostdancing.

Both Andy and Mark were spotted. Apparently Andy will be playing the German gigs whilst Mark will be behind the keyboards for the Q Music and Paradiso performances.

The NDR gig (on Monday) will last for 45 minutes.

The main tour will kick off in February. The first dates should be appearing any day now.

The Radio 2 interview with Richard Allinson was brief, casual affair. Two items of interest emerged:
  • Discussions about the second single from the album have started, and Different World (TAORMINA.ME) seemed to be the favourite. Interestingly a poll on the mailing list suggested that Stranger and Stay Visible were potential single favourites amongst the fans.
  • The outlines of the 2006 tour would be announced soon.

Home is now B-listed on the station, and will receive 10 plays per week.

And Radio 2 DJ Janice Long will be talking to Jim at the end of the month, with a session planned for after Christmas.

Q Music have now started to promote their initmate gig. It's going to be taking place at an unknown venue on the 16th September. Listen to the station for more details of the competition which is expected to start next week.

Another secret gig has been announced for the 17th September at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. Tickets can be won here or here. It's limited to two tickets-per-person, and they can be won by buying download-credit for 9.99 or 19.99 Euros. Registering is necessary, and they'll need to send you a confirmation-code to your postal address.

Tickets for the Big Event in Portugal are starting to circulate. Check out for more information.

A current listing of the 'intimiate tour' can be found here.

The video for Home can now be seen on the newly launched, newly refreshed official site. (You'll have to reregister using a new ID, as you can't log in as your old one, and because they've not cleared the user database, you can't reregister using your old one).

On the subject of the new site, here's the welcoming text from Jim. I've included it here as to view it on the official site, you first have to send an e-mail to a friend (informing them of the Home video) and then ask your friend to send the mail back to you - which is needlessly overcomplicated and I'll wager that most people haven't discovered it.

Dear Simple Minds member,

In a world increasingly full of death cults and destruction, somehow it feels exhilarating to be alive and once more full of creative energy. Hopefully the music on Black And White 050505 strikes you as being consistent with that claim.

Any feeling of current artistic self-contentment is hardly likely to last more than a while however. In that event, if like me you are interested in the "next steps" as they evolve, then this new version of is precisely the place that you should visit at least every once in a while.

Entirely void of rumour, gossip and trivia! will deliver with trusted authority only appropriate news and information regarding the various activities of our group as they develop. This new site will also include exclusive music downloads, photo/video/interview footage, live concert/tour announcements, prize-winning competitions etc, plus the opportunity to purchase Simple Minds merchandise.

Welcome to then, we thank you for your interest and hope that you'll find the site useful!

Finally, thanks also to everyone who have web sites dedicated to our band. There are many good ones and we recommend anyone interested to seek them out. Thanks equally to everyone who supports our work in rightful ways.

Jim Kerr

The other pages feature brief, incorrect information about the new single and album.

Mick MacNeil has recently been interviewed by Alex for Radio Simple Minds. To listen, check out his website at and navigate to "Projects", "Radio Simple Minds" and "Timeline".

It's a long interview at 55 minutes, so the MP3 file is large as well (approx 50 MB).

For the collectors, I've started to collect information about the two promotional issues of Black And White 050505 which have just started to circulate.

Jim will appear on the following UK TV shows on Friday August 19th (tomorrow):

  • Channel Five News, Channel 5, (starts at 11:30AM, Jim scheduled for 11:40AM ).
  • Richard Allinson Show, BBC Radio 2, 3:30PM.
  • London Tonight, ITV, 6:00PM.

Some screenshots can be found from the Home video on Noble PR's website; it looks like a performance video, judging from the various shots.

Simple Minds will play in Lisbon (Freeport Alcochete) on the 10th September at 9:00 PM. Check out for more information (although confirmation isn't expected until the end of the week).

The 'radio tour' for Germany is starting to take shape:

26.08.2005 Radio FFH, Bad Vilbel bei Frankfurt
27.08.2005 RTL, Berlin ("Stars For Free" - Open Air in der Wuhlheide)
29.08.2005 NDR 2, Hamburg (großer Sendesaal)
30.08.2005 SWR 3, Baden-Baden

All currently known events are listed on the tour page.

Jim has been exclusively interviewed by

Jim will be interviewed by Richard Allinson (standing in for Steve Wright) on BBC Radio Two this Friday afternoon.

The official promo video for Home is now finished so expect that to turn up soon.

Derek is featured in this month's Guitar And Bass magazine. In a three page spread, featuring many new photographs, he also talks about this time with Simple Minds and why he left.

There's a Simple Minds showcase scheduled for the 18th of September at the studios of the Flemish Television Company where Q Music is based.

Soon they'll start a campaign to winning tickets for this event on Q music.

So, Belgian/Dutch fans should listen to for more information.

A better link to see the band at their mini-gig in Baden-Baden, Germany is here.

Home has made the 'C' list for BBC Radio Two - this means that the song will get 5 plays per week. This is far better than any of their previous singles, and means that the song will get national airplay.

Jim was a guest for the whole of Billy's three hour show this Sunday, selecting records, playing various Simple Minds tracks and discussing the new album. A signed guitar was also given away as a competition prize.

In brief, new snippets revealed were:

  • Stanger, Mighty Joe Moon, The Jeweller (Part Two) and Dolphins were played.
  • I Kiss The Ground got its worldwide premiere (although it was cut short).
  • A new song, by Sean Kelly, called Too Much Television was played. Billy mentioned that it was the B-side for the new single, but it's more likely it'll be included with the second single.
  • Most of 2006 will be spent touring, starting in January.
  • They hope to put together a live DVD.
  • And do an acoustic, unplugged set.
  • Mark Taylor will probably be the keyboard player - but that's not 100% yet.
  • The tour will kick off in 2006.
  • There are some promotional gigs in the next couple of months, including an event at Libson at the end of August

Interview with Jim

This is a brief summary of the taped interview between Billy Sloan and Jim

BS: Welcome Jim.
JK: It's nice to be here in the flesh. I've been working in Holland and Amercia, but I've been listening to the show on the Internet. Whilst during the promo for this album around the various territories, everyone says 'how do you keep up with new music' and I tell them about this show.

BS: When did the love affair with Sicily begin?
JK: We played in Messina in 1982, which is not a beautiful place. The gig was at a football stadium in a port. But you could see the lights of Sicily over the sea. The next day was my birthday, and the promoter took me to the "one of the most beautiful places in the world." It was Taormina and it lived up to its billing. Over the years, I've holidayed there. And met my best friend and business partner Antonio Chemi. I didn't go back for several years.

JK: I returned five years ago when I was feeling a bit low; it was an instant epiphany: this is my place. It's kind of become home.

BS: Was it inspiring creatively?
JK: You won't hear Sicilian music on the album. No mandolins! You wake up in the morning feeling good so it transpires that you'll be positive.

JK: Antonio's a huge fan of the band, he made everyone nuts playing Simple Minds when he was younger. I was staying at his house: "If we're going to be friends, get rid of the Simple Minds stuff, I'm here to get away from this." And at that time, I was distant from the music. Fast forward six months, I was enthusiastic more, I had Charlie down there, and we were working on songs. I have been reborn in Italy and the music reflects that.

[Audio: Stranger]

BS: Where did the songs come from?
JK: The process began with the tour to promote Cry. The jury's out on the merits of Cry, but I think there's a lot of good songs on it. But it got us on tour again. When we did those dates, we looked at the whole expanse of the back catalogue, and throughout the months of touring, we played more than 60 songs. We actually played Johnny And The Self Abusers songs. I have to give a credit to Andy and Eddie, they came fresh, and said we should play these songs. Charlie and I had grown distant and bored with them. But when we played them, they didn't feel like old songs; there were timeless, classic. We really enjoyed playing these songs again.

These were the seeds inside us, and we wanted to come up with a classic Simple Minds sounding record: dramatic, cinematic,big emotional pop songs.

BS: Was the album written in Holland?
JK: It was written in Sicily and arranged by me, Charlie and Jez Coad; he was great, playing, programming, writing. He plugged the gap that was apparent since Mick MacNeil left the band. Then we went to Holland with the band (Andy, Eddie and Mel) and it was recorded in a way that we used to record. It was based on the live thing, so we lived together, went to the studio at the same time, encourgaged, argued - that was the traditional side. Finally we mixed the record in LA with Bob Clearmountain.

JK: We'd worked with Bob 20 years ago for Once Upon A Time, he was already a legend then, don't know what he is now! A superlegend [Laughs] It became apparent whilst writing, we thought "this is just up Bob's street." Martin Hanlin really pushed for Bob... but it's hard to go back, because the world's changed, people have changed, but Martin spoke to Bob and Bob was enthusaistic about it.

BS: What was it like mixing out in LA?
JK: I wasn't going to go to the mix. Charlie's in with that and Jez Coad. But Charlie got in touch at the last minute and said I should go. I said I only add one or two things to the mix, and Charlie said they were the one or two things that made the difference. So I went out there. Bob works from his home now, and it's tense working, and if you're working from someone's house, it's like being a guest. So I was a bit worried about it.

JK: But it was a great thing to do. We were keen to see if the songs would strike others - and Bob's a realist, he'll tell you if something is crap. He was saying "you haven't done stuff like this for years - this is great." Whilst we were there, Springstreen was calling up, and visiting the studio, and you felt you were in great hands. It was a validation of the record.

BS: What about the song Different World?
JK: Sicily doesn't really influence the music, but this track is the exception, it's a picture postcard.

BS: What are you listening to at the moment?
JK: Thanks to Charlie, I was one of the first people to get an iPod. Not only do we share the same taste in music, Charlie loads up my iPod with whatever. So I keep up to date that way. The last big thing to hit me was Anthony And The Johnsons; I first heard it when you played it back in February.

JK: They were interviewing him on TV, I was really impressed. But I wasn't prepared to hear the voice that appeared a few minutes later when he appeared in concert. When you first heard Brian Ferry and Roxy Music it's a voice from another world, an angel; I get that impression from Anthony And The Johnsons. Morissey's like that as well. I'm not a huge fan of Morrissey and The Smiths, but he's unique; and that's what's going on with Anthony And The Johnsons, it's the uniqueness and it touched me.

BS: Did you catch U2 for the Vertigo tour?
JK: I still haven't seen them for this tour. So, no - I hope to catch them.
BS: What was the bond between Simple Minds and U2?
JK: We just got on so well as people. Before we met them, we'd shared road crew who said we'd get on like a house on fire. And we have so much in common, musically. There's an idealism as well. And we share the celtic blood.
BS: What do you think when you see them now? In these huge stadiums. As opposed to in the early 1980s when you both toured, say, Australia?
JK: Even then you could tell they were phenomaial. We first saw them at Tourhout/Werchter. We went on first and played a gig of our lives - and we took a scalp that night [laughs]. But they'd just got of a plane and were very tired - and the next night we got our arses kicked [laughs]. We had to follow them! Often when Bono came to Glasgow, he'd stay with my parents, and see us. It's hard to judge them when they're that close. But he's the best singer and writer of his generation.
BS: You know when they played Glasgow they played Promised You A Miracle at the end of one song?
JK: I'm glad someone remembers the words! I assume when he came to Glasgow he remembered those early days. Whenever I go to a city, I always remember the early days.
BS: You gave him some political flak recently.
JK: Simple Minds and U2 share a lot of fans. I used to do this journal on the official website and I'd write what was going through my head that day. I was actually praising Bono -
BS: It looked like you were having a go at him.
JK: It was taken out of context. I was calling him a genius. He's 100% genuine. He's restless and he wants to see peace in this time. He's a charmer. And he has a way of seducing. So he was talking to these politians. I just found it a bit much when he called Blair and Brown 'Lennon And McCartney'. In that sense, I was being judgemental. But the tabloids took it and just took that one phrase.
BS: I asked Bono did they take him seriously. And he said they let me into the White House, so they were taking me seriously.
JK: But there's a ton of kudos if they hang out with Bono. But it makes them [the politicians] look cool. But don't call them Lennon And McCartney, they're not.

[Audio: The Fly by U2, Jim's choice]

JK: [Home is] a great calling card for the album. There was a choice of three or four singles which is a good thing. It reminds me of The American. The chrous is very simple. Which is a good thing. The dumbing down of pop. They say artists normally only have two or three themes and the idea of searching has been part of our writing. And we pick it up with this.

BS: What's the difference between the Jim Kerr of now and the Jim Kerr of 1980/81.
JK: so much has changed and yet so much is the same. What's gone on in London with the terrorist attacks... When we wrote Empires And Dance we were in a tiny little van in Europe. We'd have the Bider Meinhoff gang in Germany, Red Bridgade in Italy, IRA bombs in Harrods... I'm not belittling what's going on now, which is horrific, but the dynamics are the same... if the riffs in the music are the same, so is life.

BS: What's the story behind Mighty Joe Moon?
JK: There was a band in the late 1980s/early 1990s called Grant Lee Buffalo. We were big fans, I'd forgotten about them until Charlie put Mighty Joe Moon on my iPod and I knew I wanted to cover it. There version was acoustic and we've made it a bit more cosmic.

[Audio: Mighty Joe Moon]

BS: Have you ever thought about playing an instrument?
JK: I have great regrets that I didn't do that. For the first few gigs for Johnny And The Self Absuers, I was the keyboard player. [Laughs] Our first gig, we were so loud, but it was only pointed out to me later that I'd forgotten to turn my gear on. I've been so lucky to work with so many talented people: Mick, Derek and then Eddie Duffy, Gillepie, Mel, John Giblin.
BS: Have you ever tried to learn an instrument?
JK: No. I'm lazy [Laughs]

BS: How do you write a song?
JK: Charlie will give me something, a sketch. We don't write songs in a traditional sence. In the early days, we used to get everyone in the room and jammed. Now Charlie will give me a CD with four or five tracks, and they're usually very atmospheric. And I build something around that.

BS: Who is the keyboard player on this tour?
JK: We don't know 100%. It doesn't look like it'll be Andy. There's so much we want to do in 2006: we have to do a live DVD; we'd like to do an unplugged with Charlie, Andy and Eddie. So Andy will be preparing arrangements for the tour. But we're talking to Mark Taylor, and he'll pick up where Andy leaves off. Musicianship is crucial, but you have to get on, it has to be fun.

BS: Eddie, being new, tends to inject young enthusaism. But one of the contants is Mel. How highly do you rate him?
JK: I think Mel lost confidence, and Andy and Eddie have really helped him get that confidence back. I've had periods like that. But you can feel Mel on this record. I remember the early days of recording this, and I could see Mel was nervous, which was novel and endearing. But we had to say the right things and then he was off... flying.. And when I'm having doubts, he'd say you should do it like this...

JK: They're a hell of a band... not a lot of people know that Andy and Eddie are great drummers, Eddie can sing great... we have a great armoury.

BS: You haven't guested with many people recently
JK: I do get asked. But I like to do things 100%. I have to relate to the song and the people I'm working with. Plus we're consumed with what we're doing.
BS: If you could wave a magic wand, who would you duet with? One male, one female.
JK: I've been really lucky, I've sung with my heroes. I'd like to sing with Chrissie Hynde, and there's a song I've got in mind. Male? Prince! Sign O' The Times! Someone smaller than me [Laughs]

BS: What's the story behind Dots On The Shell?
JK: Yothu Yindi are an Australian group, hugely popular. The main guy is an activitst. When I was in Germany a few years ago, I got asked to sing with them, in a studio in Munich. This song was written by Neil Finn and it's called Dots On The Shell. Neil had written it after talking to Yothu Yindi - one of the guy's mothers would dive for the deepest shells, and then sell the shells for a living.

[Audio: Dots On The Shell]

BS: Originally called Jeweller To The Stars, why was The Jeweller (Part Two) included on the album? Was it a standout track?
JK: There's been songs in our past that wouldn't go away. Don't You (Forget About Me) was one - the rest is history!

JK: We did an album called Our Secrets Are The Same that ended up in a legal dispute, and did not get released until last year. It was great to see the album see the light of day. I think the record has a lot of charm, But it's flawed. It wasn't recorded well, the arrangements were wrong. But Space, Jeweller and Death By Chocolate are our finest moments, and Jeweller was the biggest pop song. So, after hearing it on the box set, people would ask where they could get it. We thought, why don't we play it again, get Mel on it, and it could be a bonus track. But once Charlie came up with additional riffs, it was a much better arrangement, and when we selected the songs for the album, it was screaming out to be included.

[Audio: The Jeweller (Part Two)]

BS: What's your favourite Simple Minds album?
JK: It always changes.
BS: Do you play your albums?
JK: I don't play any of my albums until it comes time to tour - you listen to relearn the words.
BS: Favourite gig?
JK: It's easy to talk about the iconic gigs: Mandela, Live Aid, Wembley. But it was the back road gigs in the real early days and there was only 12 people there. But you knew something had happened, you were making progress, you were estatic. Those big gigs, you were already the big cheese, the people had made up their minds that they loved you.
BS: Did that change as you got bigger and started play the arenas and 50,000 people?
JK: Simple Minds are a real broad range of talents. They let us do different kinds of music, and it has different appeal. Some appealed to journalists, and we were a cult. And when we wanted to do pop music we did Don't You (Forget About Me) and Alive And Kicking.
BS: But did you compromise the music to play big areans?
JK: If only it was that easy. We werent't talented enought to have a masterplan. Take New Gold Dream, we were playing every night, and becoming a rock band, and the success would get us on these big festivals, in front of 50,000 people. We were watching Van Morrison and Neal Young playing - they weren't getting past the first 100 people - I thought what's the point if you can't get to the back of the place? But then the opening song was Waterfront which was as if it was designed to reach the people at the back.

BS: You know you're going to be written of "a big stadium band from the 1980s". Does that annoy you?
JK: I hate it. But what can you do? But I don't think anyone owes us anything like a level playing field. Lose sleep over it? No - we don't. But if was slated, wyould I be suicidal? I think not.

JK: We've worked with Sean Kelly, a Scotsman who went to London many years ago. He was in Those French Girls, I was consumed with jealousy - they're going to make it, and we'll be forgotten. But it never happened for them, and after many years, he turned up in The Surfing Brides who've toured with us. He comes up with songs we wished we'd have written and should have written. And when we play them, we feel like we've written them.

[Audio: Too Much Television, written by Sean Kelly, bonus track by Simple Minds]

[A Bowie track from Ziggy Stardust was then played]

JK: There's so little fresh you can say about Bowie and Ziggy Stardust. But I'd forgotten the song was so short. The album, Ziggy, lasts 38 minutes. Black And White 050505 (which is not a Pizza Hut hotline [laughs]), is also about 42 minutes, which was standard in the old days of vinyl. And some people are saying [the album's] great, it's compact, it's focused.

JK: CDs are normally 13 or 14 tracks... and I'm struggling to find a CD of 13 or 14 tracks which is great all the way through. We were influenced by these classic albums; 38 minutes, 9 or 10 songs, is plenty. We came out with a bundle of songs; we chose the songs how they hung together with the other songs. But we have another album half written up our sleeves [from the ideas left over].

BS: Where would you put a blue plaque for Simple Minds?
JK: If the Mars Bar still existed, it was the place it came together for us.
BS: What do you remember of the Satellite City gig?
JK: Steele Pulse were a regge band, a John Peel favourite. Johnny And The Self Abusers had cut a name for itself in Scotland, there was a lot of people who wanted to see what we'd do next. I remember being on stage with Pleasantly Disturbed and Act Of Love (which started the set), we came off-stage celebrating, and there was a knock on the door, and a cub reporter called Billy Sloan came in: "That was fantastic, you guys are going to be huge"
BS: And you didn't believe me!

BS: You looked self conscious - welded to the microphone. You looked like you'd rather be 200 miles away. What gave you the confidence to front a band?
JK: I'd always push things to get them together. I'd be good at finding missing pieces: a van, a rehearsal place, I was great at pushing people on to do stuff. But we never found a singer. I'd pick the songs we want to learn; it wasn't instintive - do, get up, perform. But there was an element of that.
BS: On the Harrahs video, for the second album, you still looked frightened.
JK: I avoided the hearing monitor for years: it looked daft and nerdy. But I was forced to use them with the orchestra [for Night Of The Proms]. It sounded incredible, and then I was full of confidence; I could hear my voice and the audience. It wasn't like that in the early days; every fifth gig was good sound, otherwise you were struggling to hear yourself. But after doing it night after night, technically getting good, and people were giving us a good reception. Appaluse was the very oxygen we needed. It was like pouring petrol on the flame?
BS: What are you like 5-10 mintues before a gig?
JK: Hours before I'm pretty much alone. I don't know how Bono can do all this extra stuff then go on stage. But I feel I have energy on stage, but that's because I do absolutely nothing beforehand. I've just reserved energy. The 10 minutes before I'm with the guys; and they're not quiet!

BS: You're a Glasgow band. Do you keep up with the Glasgow scene?
JK: The last ten years there's always been something of note; it wasn't the case when we were starting out. As a Glasgwegian I take pride in that, even if it's not a band I like: Chemical Underground, Belle And Sebastian and stuff like that; and for the last few years Franz Ferdinand. I bought the album instantly because the hype was omipressent, some people said there was elements of Simple Minds and there's a guy who looks like Charlie, but they don't sound like Simple Minds; but there's a determination, a conviction that reminds me of Sons And Fascination/New Gold Dream that felt we were going places, and they certainly do. El Precidente made the biggest impression; the tunes made the first impression. I thought it was a great tune, it's a hit.

BS: Dolphins is the epic six minute finish to the album. How did it come about?
JK: Four years ago Charlie came up with this piece. We did Night Of The Proms... the jury's still out on that one, it was described as naff, Eurovision... but we liked the people who were organising it. We were only on 20 minutes a night. So during the day, Charlie had set up a small studio with Andy in a hotel room. One of the tunes that came up was Dolphins. It reminded me of sonic signals, it sounded like the sounds mammals make under the sea - probably smoking too much [laughs] - but I had a picture of the deep blue sea. But the title Dolphins? It could be too twee.

JK: But the song seemed to write itself. It's a song about a man who goes to the water's edge, and wants to finish it. He sees the dolphins, and doesn't say 'Oh Dolphins, I've changed my mind', he wants to go deep with them. It's obscure. You come up with the words, it's not about something in particular...
BS: What about the line 'Dolphins drag me down?'
JK: I'm saying the character wants to go to the final resting ground. And that's his way out.

[Audio: Dolphins]

BS: That's the standout track. How do approach a vocal?
JK: I have to mention Jez who produced. But Jez helped to capture the atmosphere that Charlie was conjuring up and Jez got the early demos better technically and didn't lose nothing on the way. There was a lot of interference on the demo vocal, and the first take was instanteous, and you need to work with a producer who's courageous and will go with it. And with Stay Visible, it was a valve mic, you had to sing one to warm it up... and then when you try to sing it properly, you lose the edge.
BS: Do you know when you've nailed it?
JK: I do - whether I can convince everyone else is another thing. When you get goose bumps you know you've got it. Experience has told us that you can never really recapture goose bumps.
BS: Looking back, what were your best vocals?
JK: There are great vocals on Good News From The Next World, there's a track called Seven Deadly Sins. But I've finally got the voice I've always wanted. In the past, I'd do things, I'd be pleased with, but all round, I wanted something else. But there's a liberation, this is me, switch on the mic. The strength comes from that, and that's happening now, I like the way it sounds.

BS: You gave me the cassette of Life In A Day when it came out. When you think of the vocal on Someone? It's a world away.
JK: It was done at Abbey Road. We'd done these demos which got us the deal. In retrospect, the demos were really good. Eventually a host of record companies wanted to sign. Went with Arsita and John Leckie. We worked in Abbey Road... Derek Forbes walked through Abbey Road thinking I'm home! How cocky! I was freaked out. I was looking at the Harpisord used from Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - it's real then. In hindsight, we should've stayed in Glasgow and recorded the album at Ca Va. But we'd played the songs too much, and some of the life had gone out of them. When I hear the voice, I sound petrified.

[Audio: Someone]

JK: I thought I'd be hiding [in embarasment] - the energy was amazing. Mick's playing that stuff live. Brian McGee on drums - sounds great, the energy's amazing. We were far from estastic about the album, but you can see we were on a mission.
BS: What did you think when you got your record though? On vinyl with the artwork? JK: It wasn't a real moment. No. I wasn't a glorious debut. I think the strength of the demos, there was a glorious debut in them.... but before it was released, I thought we'd missed out, so we were keen to get onto the next one.
JK: It's a point in the future when you look back. It's really important - the mistakes are crucial, you learn more from failure than success. There's a tendency to look at albums as separate things but they're all part of the journey.

BS: Gigs?
JK: It's happening in 2006. There's a few promotional things, and there's a mini-gig happening in Lisbon at the end of August. And we'll play some new songs from the album. But the whole of new year will be playing live... starting in January.

[Audio: Kiss The Ground]

I missed Todd's interview with Ronald Prent from Some Sweet Day 2005 but he got the exclusive that the third album being considered by Virgin for the DVD-Audio treatment is Street Fighting Years. Obviously this project going ahead depends on the sales of the New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Once Upon A Time DVDs, so if you're thinking about getting them, then do so!

When Ewan McGregor was signing autographs in front of the cinema before the premiere of The Island, he was interviewed by ITV (a British television channel). The beautiful female television reporter ask him,, "Can you tell us about your new hairstyle ?" Ewan responded, "Yeah, everyone is asking me about my haircut. It looks very Simple Minds."

More interviews with Jim:

Some Sweet Day 2005 is broadcasting now. Todd hopes to speak to Jim in the next hour. The interviews with Mick and Jim have already aired and brief summaries are reproduced below.

They also had the worldwide exclusives of: Bird On A Wire and Mighty Joe Moon.

And as I type, Here Comes The Fool is getting its first airplay. Expect lots from Silver Box and material from Black And White 050505.

Aaron's literally just put together a website for the event: Listen live, playlists, pictures and more at

Interview with Jim

This is a brief summary of the interview between Todd Richards and Jim

Q: You're currently doing radio tour?
A: Been busy for the last five weeks doing a radio tour. It's all pleasurable.

Q: We've been premiering new B-sides. Are these extras songs from the sessions left over?
A: You got the exclusives. I think 3 singles will come off this album. When the album was done, Mighty Joe Moon was a track that Charlie put on my iPod. I thought: "I'd love to do that." The other track (Bird On A Wire) came from the Our Secrets Are The Same sessions. It was subsequently remixed and Charlie's added some new stuff.

Q: Congratulations on completing the record. You toured, then recorded it and then released it. Any easy process?
A: Your perception's bang on. A year after Cry, there was a year when we tried things - they weren't working out - too premature.

A: That frightened us because the next thing we do had to be full blooded - not half baked. Need to really think about this. This time last year, Charlie and I planned it out: how, where and who. And it was so tight. We really wanted to finish middle of May - no room for illnes - it had to work. It was a smooth path.

Q: You went back to Bob Clearmountain. Why go back?
A: Through the dates following Cry, we played between 65-70 songs. Throughout the tour, we played songs from every period of our career; even the notorous Johnny And The Self Abusers. We rediscovered the songs and the sounds. We rediscovered what was attractive about them. They were old songs, old sounds; but they felt timeless and classic. They excited us. (They had bored us, but we'd stepped back and left them so now they had a new feeling).

A: So a year ago, we decided to write a classic Simple Minds record; big, emotional pop music. Dramatic music. Rich atmosphere. All of which is easy to say, but difficult to do without being a parody or an 80's rehash. Which didn't appeal. And which was the challenge of the record.

A: In some ways, it's impossible to go back. There are certain things you can revisit. From a technical aspect, this was recorded in Wisselord [where Real Life was recorded] to technically revisit the past. And the idea to get Bob to mix was a conscious attempt to get the Clearmountain thing. But there was a nervousness about it: will Bob be the same? In fact, Bob's much better engineer and mixer than he was back then.

Q: The Home sleeve cover harkens back to Sanctify Yourself sleeve.
A: We've been having fun rifling on our past riffs. You're talking about the sleeve of Sanctify Yourself when we were totally optimistic and when you get older, pessimism and realism comes in and it's not all doves of peace etc. There are four or five songs on the album which are optimistic and positive but there's another four songs which are desparate, even a bit bleak - although beautiful. These are the two sides of it.

Q: Why go back to Jewller To The Stars?
A: It wouldn't go away. It was one of the songs from the flawed Our Secrets Are The Same album but the flaws make it more interesting. Sometimes its more interesting when it goes wrong; there's a few songs on that album that are killer: Space, Jeweller To The Stars, Death By Chocolate. We felt that we didn't record it right, the band didn't play well, the arrangement was wrong: great idea for a song, execution was wrong. But, bad luck, that's the way it goes. When the box set came out, more people heard it; and when non-hardcores heard it, they wanted to know when it would come out. It just wouldn't go away. Engineers loved it in the studio: is it the demo? It just would not go away.

A: Mel didn't play on the original and wanted to do it. Andy Gillespie said we've got to do this song. But people will bitch about it - it'll make us look lazy. Make it a B-side or something. That's what we set out to do. But such a good job was done, there was no way it could be left off the record. It just wouldn't go away!

Q: Andy - he's not on promo photos or line-up. What happened?
A: He left the building [laughs]. Andy's an interesting guy - more than a musician - many strings to his bow. He's a real marketing genius. Works with a company that sells musical equipment and he's built it up over the years. At this point in time, it's at a crucial stage of development, and it's his gig. Over the last year, that's been his gig.

A: He played on about three or four tracks on the album. He's still working behind the scenes; he'll be working with Charlie next week. Andy will help us set up the live set. We want to do a live DVD at some point; we want to do an unplugged; Andy will be an architect; but he won't be on the road as much.

A: ANd there's not a lot of keyboards on this record. They're a lot less than they were. Charlie plays a lot of keys - Jez Coad plays some.

Q: Mark Taylor's been mentioned
A: Mark Taylor might help. Haven't sorted that out yet.

Q: What's happening with the tour?
A: The tour, in a real sense, won't start until next year. Next year will be consumed with being live. In Germany and Italy, there's some private radio gigs; you do the private gig with competition winners and then the record stations play the record. It's a partnership. We'll do some of those.

In Germany, the four biggest radio stations have jumped on Black And White 050505. And they haven't jumped on a Simple Minds album for over a decade.

Q: The last couple of record labels didn't work out. What attracted you to Sanctuary?
A: To be honest, we're independent. We do what we want, when we want. We finance everything. Sanctuary were well down the line, but they have the reputation of being a music label and getting behind artists as record labels used to. The key factor was John Williams, an A&R guy (but he was an engineer at the BBC when we did sessions); he knows his stuff. I love people with ideas. Let us hear them! There's very few record labels left now, but they were people we could work with, and in other areas we were now free legally do to as we please. So far, it feels good.

Q: Will there be US dates?
A: We have to be invited. We need promoters to say "we want the band". Over the years, that's not happened in Australia and the USA. There's always ideas: package tours, but we don't want to do those 80's things, we don't feel like that. Our management's been getting calls from American Agents and there's a little bit of heat again. They must feel there's something we can do. We'd love to play America but it has to make sense. But fingers crossed. I'm in a positive mood; I think it may happen.

Q: What happened to all the other songs from the album. Like Light Travels?
A: Light Travels is a great song.

Q: Did they not develop?
A: In some cases, that's true. In the case of Light Travels, we felt we hadn't cracked it. There's a song called Fortune Teller; I was mixed emotions, we didn't put it on the album [angish], so we'll put it on the next one [cheers]. Some songs you leave them, you're exhausted; and I think we made an album and a half this time. We're keen to push ahead, and the months left in this year, whilst we're not promoting, we'll be pushing on with the writing and recording of the next. We're motoring now.

Interview with Mick

This is a brief summary of the taped interview between Todd Richards and Mick MacNeil (taped because Mick's currently on holiday).

Q: Where are you? Are you in Scotland?
A: Aye, near the Bonnie, Bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Q: How did the keyboard sound develop over time?
A: The sound definitly progressed. It was entirely financially based. We never had money to buy anything decent in the early days. So these items (keyboards, samplers, hardware) inspired what we wrote. The sound and melodies were based on the noises created at the time, which was based on the keyboard hardware.

As time went on, we bought more quality instruments e.g. the Hammond organ.

I also looked at my roots, the old celtic music. We hid that at the start as we were in a rock band and had to live up to that image! But as time went on, we became more honest about where we got the melodies from and it helped having a decent budget!

Q: My favourite album is Street Fighting Years. How did that develop?
A: We based ourselves in Perthshire [at Bonnie Wee Studios] and out of the window was Scotland in the winter. Street Fighting Years was totally inspired by our surroundings.

Q: Looking back, especially after all the remixes and remasters, is there anything that you'd want to change? A: I wouldn't want to go back and change it. Today's technology wouldn't want me to go back and do it. But, personally, in those day I was worried about the technology letting me down. In the end I needed five hands and two feet for all the pedals. And today, I've bought a new bit of kit - it's like six synths in one box. So today's technology would've helped me back then.

I had boxes of cassettes and 4-track tapes of the demos and rehearsals and lots of live tracks from the desk. We needed to review how the band sounded. And it's only recently that I listened to them again. It's been a real flash back in time. Trying to find melodies for Speed Your Love and Waterfront and how they developed - that's been a real flashback for me. I'll try and put some up on my site for the real die-hards who like that sort of stuff.

Q: What do you think of the new DVD-Audios?
A: I've not heard them. [Mick wasn't sure what they'd done to produce them]. As there's not any material coming out now, Virgin/EMI have probably said how can we make more money from the back catalogue?

Q: Why did you leave the band?
A: Halfway through the tour [Street Fighting Years], the American thing didn't take off. Our agent, Ian Copeland, saw us in Europe: he said tickets weren't doing well and the record company [A&M] weren't too enthusiastic. Belfast Child was number one all over Europe, and the American record company didn't even want to put it out. We were looking at cutting down the production and the dates.

At the end of the day, I was left in Dublin a lot of the time. I was pissed off, feeling sorry for myself, we had a lot of time sitting around Dublin when the US dates were supposed to be. Then we finished the Australian dates and I was thinking "I just want to go home." I was thinking of getting married and if I don't start a family now, I'll never start it. I've done everything I want to do in the band, so leaving was the most obvious thing in the world for me. I just wanted to go back to being a normal guy.

"I'm going home guys, I'll catch you later." And that was it.

I couldn't drag my pregnant wife around on tour, I wasn't going to commit to a relationship and not be in it. I wanted to rebuild my own life with my life and family.

Q: What's the story behind People Places And Things?
A: It was a build up of material since I'd left the band. There were a few things which were commissions for little jobs here and there. It was closure of all the material I had at the time. Otherwise I'd never finish anything. There was no-one saying "You've run out of time." I could've gone on forever. It was taking stock. I haven't done much since then. With Derek and Brian, I'll knuckle down and try to write something after the summer.

I've made eight albums with different folks. It's been non-stop work. Not major acts. Seriously involved in lots of projects. People encourage my input, so I get involved at every level. I hope Derek and Brian will kick my arse a bit though.

Q: The new project is called A Few Good Men?
I think it's a Jack Nicholson film - it came from Derek. They needed a band to close the Special Olympics in Glasgow, so Derek formed a band from members of Deacon Blue, Big Country and Simple Minds. we'll do a set made up of music from each of the members in the band.

I also took my boys to see Kraftwerk and we were blown away, so I really want to get back into that; real electronic music. But I can't do the [Special Olympics] gig, because I'm on holiday, so the first I'll do with them is in August in the Mull Of Kintyre someone. Then, there's a few more, leading up to the new year. And then some things next year. We a Scotish band playing in Scotland (Deacon Blue/Big Country/Simple Minds) - perhaps we could get a Bay City Roller in there. [Laughs]

I'll try and get a webcast up in the studio, get together once a week, try to make it a real live thing, and get tracks ready for download. We'll write decent stuff and get rid of it.

Q: How did Dirty Old Town come about?
A: Just a couple of days before, Jim had called up. He'd talked about doing stuff in the past (Mick related how he visited the studio at Jim's house to potentially help out on Neon Lights and Cry). Then they called , we did the whole thing live, but I had to leave to pick up my son, so I missed Jimmy Johnstone. I've never met him, I want to, but didn't hear him sing on the song that Billy Sloan eventually played.

[Audio: Dirty Old Town]

A: I'll need to get a copy. We had a great afternoon and a good laugh. They said they would get in touch, but I've heard nothing back from them at all.

Q: How is your website doing?
A: It's I'm in the progress of upgrading it all now and hope to get the new site online before I go on holiday. I'll get some archive stuff, new projects and stuff on there. And I try to personally speak to everybody who makes contact WWW.MIXRECORDS.COM! [Laughs]

More details have emerged about the so-called 'intimate' gigs in September. They are a small number of planned, invite only, showcase events, in which songs from Black And White 050505 will be played by the band to the media, retail and industry people.

The events will only be 30-40 minutes each, and are not secret gigs.

A conventional tour is expected next year.

And after saying that, German radio station SWR3 will be holding a competition to see the band on the 30th August in Baden-Baden, Germany. It will be a small 'gig', limited to 180 only. The competition starts at 9:00 on Monday morning (8th August).

Home will be released across two CD singles. CD #1 includes a radio edit of Home backed with the non-album track Bird On A Wire. CD #2 includes the album version of Home, a rendition of Grant Lee Buffalo's Mighty Joe Moon, the Trixton Portendo dance mix of Home plus an enhanced video of Home.

CD   Home Mini CD Single Sanctuary SANXS 388
1. Home[Radio Edit](4:05)
2.  Bird On A Wire(?:??)

CD   Home Maxi CD Single Sanctuary SANXD 388
1. Home(4:22)
2. Mighty Joe Moon(?:??)
3. Home[Trixton Porteno Mix](?:??)
4. Home[Video]   (4:05)

Billy Sloan played yet more tracks from Black And White 050505. On his show on Sunday night, he played Stay Visible and the world exclusive of Stranger.

Apparently Jim is going to be on the show next week.

AllMusic has just published a rave review Simple Minds' Black & White 050505 written by Billboard's Greg Prato. Giving the album a strong 4/5, referencing the resurgence of various 80s new wave groups inspiring "older acts to issue surprisingly strong albums, as evidenced by ‘Black and White 050505".

The promos are now starting to circulate. So, for the collectors, there is:

  • A one track CD of the edit of Home in slimline jewelcase with picture sleeve (Santuary SANPX388).
  • A promo of the entire album in card sleeve (Sanctuary SANPR 390).
  • And there's a promo Black And White EP which features Home, Different World, Stranger and Stay Visible.

Music Week have just published a Q&A with Jim. A preview of the article (which is to be published on the 6th August) can be viewed via Noble's PR Site here. In the article, Jim confirms the media gigs in the UK for September, and a tour for next year.

The only release party in Germany.
Supported by Sanctuary Records.


Another fan favorite! Some Sweet Day 05 - The Simple Minds Marathon will feature the new Silver Box set of rarities, and will preview the new album from the band on Sanctuary Records - due September, 2005. Lead vocalist Jim Kerr has become a regular on this show... don't miss it!

Giveaways include the 2CD Best Of collection from Virgin Records and Cry CD courtesy of Eagle Records. Plus an exclusive interview with former keyboardist Mick MacNeil.

Sparkle Fanclub Day with 1984 (Simple Minds Tribute Band) During The Home Release Weekend
Click on the flyer for more information.

Information about forthcoming tours is sketchy and unreliable at the moment: The 'intimate' UK tour looks like it's going ahead, as it's been mentioned several times by different sources; a European tour for November and December was also mentioned, but this looks like being a rumour. And the dates in Mexico were for Simple Plan not Simple Minds.

The most likely scenario is: Intimate UK tour in 2005, followed by a larger tour early in 2006.

Promos for the album and single have started to circulate. The album promo is housed in a hard card sleeeve featuring the album artwork (Sanctuary SANPR 390). The one-track promotional single, packaged in a slimline jewelcase with artwork, features an edit of the title track.

Billy Sloan surprised everyone by not only playing tracks from the new album on his show again, but played several new tracks. Last Sunday night, he played The Jeweller (Part Two) (an exclusive), Dolphins, Home and Underneath The Ice (again an exclusive).

Some dreadful quality recordings can be found here. Again, these give a great idea of the sound and structure of the songs on the album, but don't judge it on these; wait until you can hear the full thing in crystal clear CD quality.

Jim has recorded a duet with Dutch singer Mirjam Timmer. The song, The Deep Blue Sea written by Mirjam, is about Bush's decision to use sonar equipment in submarines despite the effect it'll have on wildlife (in particular dolphins and whales who become disorientated).

They met several years ago at the Night Of The Proms in Antwerp.

The song will be on her album scheduled for next year, and has been pencilled in as the second single. It was recorded at Wisseloord Studios in Holland, where the band were working on Black And White 050505. She also sang backing vocals on the demo version of Dolphins, but she's not on the final album version.

The Rockol interview has generated a lot of discussion. Whilst it's published in Italian, you can get a good idea of the subjects discussed by feeding the text through an on-line translator.

Key points:

  • There was a new approach to making the music. Rather than communicate via e-mail long distance, it was four guys in a studio playing, debating and quarrelling over the new songs.
  • Jim's mother says the longest lasting of Jim's marriages is with Charlie.
  • As for Live8, Jim admitted being more cynical about the event. He's unable to believe in honesty as part of the political process, viewing governments as businesses. He felt ill-at-ease seeing all these white, millionaire, middle-aged musicians on stage, and would've prefered seeing more collaborations with African artists.

Derek Forbes is featured in next months Guitar And Bass Magazine (published on the 19th August). It'll be available from all large newsagents (in the UK), or directly from IPC Media. It will cost £3.60.

According to, Simple Minds will be playing at the Palacio De Los Deportes, Mexico City, Mexico on the 24th September, and Auditorio Coca Cola, Monterrey, Mexico on the 25th.

Look out for A Few Good Men playing in the UK. This band consists of Ian from H20, Jim from Deacon Blue and Derek Forbes and Mick MacNeil. Apparently they'll be playing a selection from their back catalogue.

An MP3 of the RTL radio broadcast of Different World can be found here.

Another fan favorite! Some Sweet Day 05 - The Simple Minds Marathon will feature the new Silver Box set of rarities, and will preview the new album from the band on Sanctuary Records - due September, 2005. Lead vocalist Jim Kerr has become a regular on this show... don't miss it!

Giveaways include the 2CD Best Of collection from Virgin Records and Cry CD courtesy of Eagle Records. Plus an exclusive interview with former keyboardist Mick MacNeil.

4th August 2005.

Some backstage photos from the Festivalbar can be found here. Note that the bottom pictures were from the band's appearance in 2002 (which explains why Andy and Eddie are pictured.)

Further downloads (including videos of Home) can be found here.

A lengthy interview with Jim (in Italian) can be found here.

The iTunes Music Store, at least in the US, has added nine Simple Minds albums to their library. Sons And Fascination through to Real Life is now available for download.

I'm a little bit late, but Italian station Radio Capital are having a poll to decide the number one Simple Minds. You can vote for Home and listen to 30 seconds of the chorus.

The new single is to be released on two CDs, both featuring non-album B-sides.

Another press release, this time on Sanctuary Records site states:

Simple Minds - Black And White 050505
Brand New Studio Album And Single In September

After a three-year hiatus, Scottish rock legends Simple Minds return in September with a brand new single and studio album.

Black And White 050505 (released on 12th September) is their first album since signing to Sanctuary Records earlier this year and is already being hailed as their best long player since 1982's New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).

The album, which was produced by Bob Clearmountain, recalls the sweeping , vast sound that characterised their biggest hit albums, Sparkle in the Rain, Once Upon A Time and Street Fighting Years and should see the emergence of a whole new generation of fans whilst satisfying the current worldwide fanbase.

A single entitled Home will precede the album's release on Monday 5th September and will be backed by non-album bonus tracks across two separate CDs.

UK based rock music website Get Ready To Rock gives their verdict on the new Simple Minds album:

Billy Sloan did not disappoint, playing four songs from the new album throught his Sunday evening show
  • Home (19:18)
  • Stay Visible (20:14)
  • Black And White (20:58)
  • Dolphins [faded] (21:54)

The sound quality through the Internet was appalling, so whilst the style and structure of the songs could be heard, any subtleties (and the album is full of them) were lost.

Dolphins, the emotionally intense, slow and dramatic end of the album, was cruelly faded out. (Dolphins reminds me of Bowie's Heroes at a much slower tempo - it's a absolutely superb song, with a very dark lyric).

Black And White was played in its entirety: it's a short song and has an unexpected end.

Talk of single selection (always a heated debating point) has suggested that Stay Visible and Home were equally suitable. To throw further options out there, and having heard the entire album, Stranger (up-tempo traditionally structured song with "sha-la-la-la" chorus and killer Burchill outro) and Jeweler (Part Two) are the strongest contenders for singles on the album. In my humble opinion of course.

Billy was going to talk to Jim in the middle of the week, and hoped the band would record a session before the end of the year.


In 1983, Simple Minds scored one of their biggest hits with the classic song Waterfront.

Singer Jim Kerr wrote the epic track after a walk along the banks of the River Clyde in his native Glasgow.

Now the Scots rock superstar hopes a song about his new adopted home in the Italian mountains will rocket his group back into the charts.

On September 5, the Minds release the single Home - a track written about the beautiful town of Taormina in Sicily.

'I turned up in Taormina five years ago and fell in love with the place,' Jim told me.

'It's been a great inspiration and I really rediscovered my love for writing songs here.'

The single is taken from the Minds' new album, Black And White 050505, which was recorded in Holland and Los Angeles.

The title refers to the date Bob Clearmountain - who has also worked with Bruce Springsteen, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney - finished mixing the album.

Jim said: 'We wanted to make an album again which was full of dramatic, atmospheric pop music.

'We needed a record that proved as much to ourselves as anyone else that the big beating heart of Simple Minds was very much alive and driving us on.

'I believe Black And White 050505 is classic Simple Minds... with a whole new energy.'

Here's my exclusive track by track preview:

STAY VISIBLE: The opening track sounds like the theme from an espionage movie. Kerr recorded the passionate vocal in just one take. Destined to become a great song live.

HOME: A throwback to the Minds' 1981 album Sons And Fascination. This slice of experimental pop is a cross between electronic Bowie and early Magazine. Will be a killer single.

STRANGER: The intro reminds me of Moby before Mel Gaynor's power drums kick start the track. The 'stranger beautiful stranger' hook has the makings of another live Minds' anthem.

DIFFERENT WORLD: The piano start leads into a driving mid-tempo rocker fuelled by trademark Charlie Burchill guitar and great double-tracked vocals.

UNDERNEATH THE ICE: There's a tribal feel to the backing vocals as Kerr sings: 'When I saw you skating by/ I was underneath the ice.' The album's BIG slow song.

JEWELLER: The original version was included on the Minds' great 'lost' album Our Secrets Are The Same. The group have updated the track and it fits in perfectly.

BLACK AND WHITE: A brilliant haunting epic destined to succeed classic Minds' hits such as East At Easter and Let It All Come Down as a live finale. I think this is one of the best things they've done in years.

KISS THE GROUND: Opens with more fine Burchill guitar leading into another moody Kerr vocal. Low-key verse which doesn't really come to life until the hook.

DOLPHINS: The electro-intro is a nod to their great heroes Kraftwerk. Kerr's vocals are eerily reminiscent of former mentor Peter Gabriel. Musically, this track is a real leap of faith but they have saved the best until last. Fantastic.

Billy Sloan
Sunday Mail
17th July 2005

The intimiate tour (to take place in the UK in September) is to the media only. I don't know if fans are going to be invited. But...

These are also warm-up gigs for a European tour, which is expected to kick of around October-November.

Scottish radio DJ Billy Sloan will be playing three tracks from the new Simple Minds album Black & White 050505" on Clyde 1 Radio in Glasgow (Scotland) - Sunday July 17th between 7-10pm BST.

To listen to Billy's radio show on Sunday in real time, all you have to do is click on the following link -

  • Once you are on the home page, go to the top left hand corner of the page.

  • Once there you will see Billy's photo and it will say "On Air Now".

  • Once you see this, you will also see the words "Listen Now". Simply click on "Listen Now".

  • Do not panic if you do not see Billy's photo in the top left hand corner if you go on the site in advance, as the website automatically changes the photo of the DJ's just as soon as their radio show starts on air.

  • There is no facility to playback the shows as an audio stream. The only way you can listen to the show is if you tune in when the show is live on air.

  • Once you click on the "Listen Now", you'll link into a web page where you can listen to the show in "Real Player" or "Windows Media Player". If you do not have the software on your hard drive, you can download this Radio Clyde 1 link -

To find out more about Billy Sloan and his weekly radio programme, click here:

Billy has confirmed that one of the songs he will be playing will be the first single, Home, taken from the forthcoming album.

For further info about the forthcoming album, click here:

All press releases for this album can be found here.

Different World was played on RTL2 last night (14th). It isn't known if anyone grabbed it yet...

I've just interviewed Ronald Prent (New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Once Upon A Time DVD-Audios) for the website. Great guy to talk to, was very enthusiastic about Simple Minds (he's been a fan for 25 years) and told me alot about how these releases came to be.

Once he's okayed my write-up I'll publish it here. However, one person also deserves high credit for this project: and that's Charlie. It was his idea to use extended versions as something for the fans. He was certainly right about that! ;-)

There isn't a DVD-Audio of Black And White 050505 in the works. So ignore the comment from the 13th.

Part of the band's performance of Home has been posted to the Festivalbar's website. Movies include a short part of Home and Jim addressing the crowd.

There are also concert and backstage photos of Jim and Charlie.

The footage of Home is from the first part of the song, before it starts going proper, and doesn't include the chorus - but you do get a taste of Charlie's riff throughout the song which you'll be humming all day. It also sounds like Jim is singing live over an instrumental playback of the song (as the album version does sound different).

(A full review of the new album will be posted in the next couple of days).

The Festivalbar is being televised in three parts weekly. Simple Minds weren't featured in last night's show: so they'll appear on the 19th or 26th of July. When the video appears, look out for temporary keyboard and bass players - apparently Eddie wasn't there.

The band also took part in a webchat. Aside from joking that they're the new boy band, they also mentioned performing old songs with their modern sound for the forthcoming tour.

Italian radio station, Radio Captial, will premiere Home on the 19th July.

Roland Prent mentioned remastering three Simple Minds albums for DVD-Audio release: the third will be Black And White 050505.

The track times for all the songs of the album have now been added to its page.

The artwork could've been worse. This album, Absolute Love #3, was released in 2003:

Whilst on the subject of the artwork, the cover art for the new album has yet to settle down. From left to right in order of appearance: Artwork with Temporary Artwork (appeared on various on-line retail stores), artwork without Temporary Artwork (appeared on various on-line retail stores), press release version and, finally, German website version.

From the German Sanctuary site:

"Don´t You ... Forget About Me... wer jetzt noch glaubt, die Simple Minds haben ihre besten Zeiten hinter sich, wird überrascht sein. Nach drei Jahren Auszeit und mitten in einer Zeit der Duran Duran, Depeche Mode und New Order Revivals legen die Schotten wieder ein klassisches Simple Minds Album vor. Black & White 050505 ist großer emotionaler Pop, lässt optimistische Sounds mit dem musikalischen Geist der 80er neu erklingen. Die alten Fans werden begeistert, neue gewonnen sein. Black & White sei „typisch Simple Minds aber mit einer völlig neuen Energie“. Treffender als von Frontmann Jim Kerr könnte sich das jüngste große Werk nichtbeschreiben lassen.

Beeinflusst von Roxy Music und oft verglichen mit U2 haben die Simple Minds - verwurzelt in der Glasgower Post Punk Band Johnny and the Self Abusers - Erfolgsgeschichte geschrieben: Mehr als weltweit 20 Millionen verkaufte Platten sowie zahlreiche Top 20 Hits belegen ihre grandiose Stellung in der Popwelt. Nach einer dreijährigen Auszeit und mehreren weniger erfolgreichen Alben melden sich die Simple Minds mit voller Kraft zurück: Lasst Euch überzeugen von dem epischen „Stay Visible“, dem kraftvollen „Different World“ oder dem melancholischen „Dolphins“ – am besten in voller Lautstärke! Erste Singleauskopplung wird „Home“ sein".

Stay Visible was premiered on France's PopRockStation on RTL 2 last night.

Many thanks to Pascal at and Frederic at who captured it.

Download here, here or here.

And here's a link of U2 singing Beautiful Day live at Glasgow which features Promised You A Miracle at the end.

Spotted backstage at Live 8: Euan Blair (son of UK Prime Minister) wearing a Simple Minds 2003 tour T-shirt. Pictures in Now magazine.

Some facts about the new album:

  • The album is 41 minutes, 33 seconds long. All the songs are over four minutes in length, with Dolphins being the longest, clocking in at over six.
  • Jeweller (Part Two) is Jeweller To The Stars. A great new version, it shares the album's big dynamic guitar driven sound, and destined to be a live favourite.
  • Home apparently is the perfect choice for the first single.
  • Dolphins is a great sounding song and very, very beautiful.

No - I've not heard it. Just some first throughts from the first fan to have heard it.

The new single, Home, will be premiered by Simple Minds in the town square at Arezzo, Italy, during the Festivalbar festival. Those thinking of jetting over (Firenze is your local airport) will have to work fast: the band are taking to the stage for one song on the 10th July (that's this Sunday).

The event will be filmed and broadcast on Italian TV the next week - so expect a link to a movie file soon. It's also anticipated that the footage will form part of the new video.

Click on the banner for the full press release:

Images © 2005 Arjan van der Berg/Sanctuary Records

For immediate release:

Sanctuary Records are pleased to announce the worldwide signing of Simple Minds. The band will release their first album on the Sanctuary Records label in the UK and rest of Europe on Monday September 12 (US release date - September 13). Entitled Black & White 050505, the album is being hailed as a return to form to their classic atmospheric albums - 1982's New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and 1984's Sparkle In The Rain. Recorded in Italy and Holland, the album and was mixed in Los Angeles by the legendary Bob Clearmountain (Roxy Music, Rolling Stones, INXS).

The first single taken from the album, Home, is released September 5th. To mark the release of the album, the band are planning a series of intimate concerts around the UK during September (dates will be announced in the coming weeks). The 2005 line-up includes original founding members, Jim Kerr (vocals) and Charlie Burchill (guitar), with longtime drummer Mel Gaynor, and bass guitarist Eddie Duffy.

The band will be touring the UK in September at a series of intimate gigs. It's rumoured that Andy Gillespie (who isn't in the new promotional photographs) is going to be replaced by Mark Taylor.

Some of the details for the forthcoming Some Sweet Day 2005 are starting to surface:

  • Interview with Mick MacNeil
  • Tracks from the new Silver Box
  • Tracks from the forthcoming Black And White 050505 (hopefully!)

Todd hopes to announce more in the coming weeks. It is (as always) a must listen show.

With new wave revivalists like the Killers and The Bravery storming the U.S. charts, first wavers Simple Minds have picked a splendid time to drop their first all-new studio album in three years. Due Sept. 13 via Sanctuary, Black and White 050505 was recorded in Italy and Holland.

Nearly 30 years after forming in Glasgow, founding members Jim Kerr (vocals) and Charlie Burchill (guitar) are still on board. "We can honestly say that we are delighted with the results and look forward with a totally revitalized outlook to this next phase of our ongoing creativity," explains Kerr. "We feel with some certainty that people who grew up with Simple Minds will share our enthusiasm for this new work."

Best known in the U.S. for the chart-topping love song Don't You (Forget About Me), the group proved even more popular in Europe, where it has scored countless hit singles and albums.

And while some classic rockers are attempting to keep pace with the young bucks by overhauling their sound completely, Kerr and company had a different mindset for their latest. "We wanted to make an album once again that was full of dramatic and atmospheric pop music," he says. "We felt that we needed an album that proved as much to ourselves as anyone else, that the big beating heart of Simple Minds was very much alive and driving us on once again."

The set will be preceded by first single Home. According to Kerr, it was a tough call. "There are a number of songs on the album that will make great singles. But I feel that the way Home kicks in with Charlie's. signature soaring guitar riff, there could be no better way off announcing to the world that Simple Minds had recaptured the kind of uplifting musical spirit that defined our best work.

Stay Visible
Different World
Underneath the Ice
The Jeweller (Part 2)
Black and White
Kiss the Ground

Greg Prato
1st July 2005

"The most successful Scottish band of the 80's are back with "Black and White". Very strong and contemporary, It's epic sound embodies everything they were revered for"

So says the first Amazon review of the album. Honest from the heart prose, or warm mushy sentiment composed by someone who hasn't heard it yet?

Financial crisis strikes record label that gave us Iron Maiden

The world's largest independent record label, home of the Strokes, Beyonce and Morrissey will announce interim results today revealing the full scale of its financial crisis.

Started by two Cambridge University friends in the 1970s' Sanctuary has become one of pop music's leading pioneers and one of its greatest successes. But in the past year sales have been poor and the London-based company has issued two profit warnings. Yesterday its board met to consider how to stem the decline amid reports that it faced a showdown with its bankers.

The company has already warned shareholders that earnings will be 40 per cent down for the first six months of 2005. The company's share price has responded by going into freefall. Yesterday it stood at just over 20p - down from 48p a year ago.

Sanctuary has faced a damaging public spat with Morrissey who said he would not sign a new deal. He blamed the company for the mix-up over his failure to play at this year's Isle of Wight Festival. In another embarrassment in May, Beyonce was forced to quash speculation she was thinking about changing management.

Sanctuary, founded by Andy Taylor and Rod Smallwood, made the big league in 1983 after discovering a band called Iron Maiden playing in a pub. Under Sanctuary, Iron Maiden became one of the world's biggest acts.

With a reputation for both musical and business integrity, Messrs Taylor and Smallwood built up a large stable of artists ranging from old-timers such as Fleetwood Mac to cutting-edge bands such as the Libertines. Mr Taylor, a former accountant, provided financial acumen while Mr Smallwood concentrated on the music. They have dipped their fingers into practically every music industry pie, offering services in recording, merchandising and business management.

The company's plight has prompted some analysts to question whether the board, which includes the former British ambassador to Washington Sir Christopher Meyer, was considering an emergency rights issue.

Sanctuary dismissed as "conjecture", a recent press report that it was in danger of breaching its banking covenants. A spokesman refused to comment on yesterday's board meeting insisting it was "entirely routine". Earlier this month Sanctuary confirmed it was in talks with a competitor, thought to be the giant Warner Music Group, over a merger.

The City expects the board to discuss ways ofaceelerating this deal, although some analysts fear talks have stalled.

Sanctuary believes its unique business strategy makes it an attractive proposition to rivals - a strategy it believes makes it "the only 360 degree international music group". Its catalogue contains more than 150,000 tracks, making it the largest independent owner of music intellectual property rights.

As well as releasing record on its own label, Sanctuary provides a plethora of artist services. These include handling the business affairs of performers, and critically, tour management. It is estimated that touring can generate four to five times the profits of record sales.

Bosses are currently milking speculation that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, both of whom are clients, will reform Led Zeppelin for a tour next year.

The company also recently bought Music World Entertainment, the management firm owned by Beyonce's father Matthew Knowles, to get a foothold in urban R 'n' B - asector where it was under represented.

Sanctuary also operates the merchandising arrangements for Enimem, Christina Aguilera and Robbie Williams.

Jonathan Brown
The Independent
28th June 2005

Record delays hit Sanctuary profits

Sanctuary, the record company and pop star management business behind Elton John and Mario, reassured investors yesterday that delayed releases and rising debts would not undermine its long-term future.

Andy Taylor, the chief executive, said although debt had risen to £117.7m, its bank, the Bank of Scotland, and its main bondholder, Highbridge, continued to be supportive of the business.The company was not planing an emergency rights issue to raise cash, he said, although it remained in talks that might lead to a possible offer for the business.

"In 30 years of business this is not the first time we have had a blip. Our model is working, we've had a bit of a slip... and we regret that, but it's the sort ofthing that happens," he said. "Given the waythe City has reacted, you do lose your faith in human nature sometimes."

The company's previous rapid growth rate in aquiring artists meant a shortterm setback had a proportionately larger impact on the business, he said.

Announcing interim results for the six months to 31 March, Sanctuary's sales fell from £89m to £85m, while pre-tax profits fell from £6.9m to £1.3m. Its share price fell 8.75 per cent.

The company's problems have arisen from delayed record releases in the first half of the year, reducing turnover from tis recorded music business by £9.3m. It refused to name the artists involved, a different tactic to EMI, which this year blamed late releases from Coldplay and Gorillaz for a profits warning.

Sanctuary had, however, increased its cost base to cope with higher levels of record releases, which it promised to cut by the equivalent of up to £8m a year. It is also planning to sell a number of undisclosed non-core operations.

Rachel Stevenson
The Independent
29th June 2005

The German Sanctuary website now reports a release date of the 12th September. It's probably far more reliable than the on-line retail stores, so I've changed the date. Such weekly moving is common for a new release and nothing to be concerned about.

The new single is Home. At the moment, a release date of 5th September is being suggested, which fits in with the new album date, but comes from a website which has confused the album and the single. Therefore I'll stick to the August release date for now (but it looks like the single is being planned for the week before the album.) The band is expected to film a video for the release.

For those looking for the tribute album, Swimming Towards The Sun, on iTunes then the direct link is here.

The Song For The Tribes has got a new address, a new look, and new downloads. Well worth checking out.

It's one hell of a hard act to follow

Twenty years ago, Bruce Findlay was standing at the side of a stage in Philadelphia, watching 90,000 music fans cheering on the top rock acts of the day. The former Edinburgh-based music producer and record shop owner was manager of one of Scotland’s most popular bands, Simple Minds, whom he had taken under his wing after seeing them perform in a tiny Glasgow venue in the late '70s.

On stage, the group’s frontman, Jim Kerr, was limbering up for their biggest performance, still in awe from what he and the enormous crowd had witnessed on a giant TV screen.

Across the Atlantic in London, rock giants Queen had just finished one of the greatest performances in music history - a gig that had been broadcast live across the world as part of Bob Geldof’s Live Aid spectacular.

A crowd of thousands at Wembley stadium and many more watching the live link-up inside the JFK Stadium in Philadelphia had been united by the music, clapping in unison to the chorus of Radio Ga Ga and entralled enthralled by Freddie Mercury’s immense stage presence.

For the Scottish band and their Capital-born producer, it was a tough act to follow.

"That was probably the best live performance ever," enthuses Bruce from his current base in York Place in Edinburgh. Twenty years on, although he has parted ways with Simple Minds and now manages new Scottish bands such as Aberfeldy, he still recalls the Live Aid show with tremendous fondness.

"Just to be a part of that moment, where so many people raised their hands and started clapping to that song, was so special. I think we all knew right then that we were involved in something that was going to be legendary."

"I don’t think I ever saw Jim as nervous as he was then, though. I mean, how on earth do you follow something like that?"

"In the end, they stormed through Don’t You (Forget About Me), which had been a number one record in the United States, and got the crowd singing along to the chorus. It was breathtaking."

"But it was also chaotic. The whole Live Aid thing had to be so carefully planned and timed because it was going out simultaneously around the world."

"We’d been allocated a certain amount of time to do our set, but two songs in the band ended up running over. Bill Graham, who was promoting the US show, came over to me raging about it. He was just shouting: ‘Bruce, what the hell are you doing? Get them to stop. Get them off!’"

"I signalled for the band to stop and they came off stage after finishing the song. But the next moment, Bill was screaming at me to get them back on because there’s still three minutes of their set to fill. It was total madness. No-one had a clue what was going on, but that’s what made it so much fun to do."

Just a month earlier, Bruce and the band had been holed up in a recording studio in New York following the success of their chart-topping US hit.

At that time Live Aid was just a pipe dream in the mind of an eccentric Irish punk rocker who had organised Band Aid - a collection of musicians who had made one of the biggest-selling records of all time. But as the live charity concerts started to become a reality, Bruce admits that Simple Minds the band were half-expecting to be asked to perform at them.

"I’d known Bob since his early Boomtown Rats days," he recalls. "So I had a hunch that he might be planning a charity show. We were a little miffed that he hadn’t asked the band to be on the Band Aid single, but we jumped at the chance to do the Live Aid show."

"Bob gave me a call and asked if we wanted to play in Philadelphia, because we had just had a really big single in the US. We didn’t hesitate - we said yes straight away. How do you turn something like that down? It was going to be huge and we wanted to be a part of it."

"When we found out that Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton were going to be performing, and that Led Zeppelin were reforming especially for the gig, it started to sink in that this was something far bigger than we had ever imagined. We even shared a bus to the venue with the Rolling Stones."

When the band arrived at the venue, Bruce says that both he and Kerr were like a couple of starry-eyed teenagers as they found themselves surrounded by rock legends and Hollywood A-list actors.

"I’m a self-confessed groupie when it comes to things like that," Bruce admits. "There are so many people who would give anything to be in that position, so we had to make th most of it. I was going up to as many really famous people as I could find and chatting to them."

"I remember that, at one point, all these security guys and this big entourage came through and told us to clear the way for this girl - who turned out to be Madonna. I’m standing there with Neil Young and Jack Nicholson and I’m just like: ‘Do you know who I’m talking to? There’s no way these guys are going to move for you’."

"It was just such a great atmosphere. Bob probably managed to pull off something that the older Woodstock generation had been trying to do for years and it really did help to raise awareness for Africa across the world."

However, with Geldof planning to bring the phenomenon back to life during the G8 summit next month, Bruce admits that he won’t be taking part in this year’s Live 8 concerts.

He said: "I admire what he’s doing but, to be honest, I don’t think Edinburgh needs it. We’ve got all of the G8 marches going on anyway, so we don’t really need someone urging a million people to come to the Capital. And I don’t think it will have anywhere near the same impact as 20 years ago."

"The other problem is that people are going to look at the line-ups and compare them, which is unfair to bands like Travis and Texas who are playing at Murrayfield. I don’t understand why there needs to be a Hyde Park concert either."

"It’s all taking place in Scotland, so why don’t all these huge guys like Coldplay, U2 and Elton John come up and play here? I wonder whether they’re doing it for their careers rather than the cause."

"I’ve got no doubts that what Bob is trying to do is right, but it could have been done better. Africa is such a talented continent and we could have put on so many other shows that demonstrate all of that culture. As it is, I’m concerned that Edinburgh might just have too much going on during that week and it won’t be anywhere near as special as Live Aid was."

Adrian Mather
The Scotsman

You can also hear Bruce talking about Live Aid during this BBC Radio Scotland documentary about the event. Broadcast yesterday, it's available as either streaming media or as net transport.

The artwork is now turning up all over the place, sans the Temporary Image subtitle.

So, it's official... and that's it.

As a tribute last night in Glasgow, Bono sang some of Promised You A Miracle during Beautiful Day. (On the previous tour, Bono sang Up On The Catwalk during Elevation).

It turned up on eBay and almost everyone missed it, or didn't realize what it was.

The new lucky owner has kindly scanned for me the rarest single-pack in Simple Minds discography: the limited edition All The Things She Said 7" double pack.

As releases go, it hardly sets the world on fire being simply the two singles in plastic sleeves with a sticker holding them together, but it does answer two long standing questions.

  • Why All The Things She Said never had a limited edition. Well, it turns out it did. Albeit a little too limited.
  • And this is a contender for the Alive And Kicking double-pack.

Obviously Virgin had too many Alive And Kicking singles pressed up, so decided to bundle the extra copies with All The Things She Said. Most probably got separated over the years. (It wasn't a one off: Ballad Of The Streets EP, This Is Your Land and Kick It In 12"s were bundled together and sold as one in Germany, whilst the Promised You A Miracle 12" came free with Sister Feelings Call in Canada.)

It's nice when a mystery is neatly solved.

This is the first look of the official new artwork for Black And White which has just first appeared on CD-Wow.

Two things:

  • The album's title would appear to be Black And White 050505, which includes the completion date of the album.
  • Secondly, the artwork appears to have Temporary Image across the bottom. Here's hoping it's not the final version.

(I don't normally use Dream Giver to express a personal opinion, but, in my personal opinion, that artwork is utterly, utterly, utterly horrible. The sleeve I threw together in 20 minutes last night in Photoshop is far better.)

How Art Made The World is a weekly BBC 2 documentary. On the 6th May, whilst the show was covering South American artwork, League Of Nations was used as the backing music.

The Departure's new single was recently reviewed by the NME (1st June) who wrote: "Who says indie isn't all about the right haircut? One minute Alex K is the perma-quipping archduke of punk-funk; a quick trip to the barbers later and the net's a mass of irate blogs form follicle-obsessed Franz fans. Step forward, then, The Departure. They have, in 'All Mapped Out', all the bombastic pomp of Simple Minds, And in heavily fringed singer David Jones they have a crooner so visually impaired by his shaggy locks he's probably driving into a lamp-post as we speak. A smash. ."

The infamous Alive And Kicking double pack is one of the biggest red-herrings in the discography. Like If You Want My Love, the lost third track of the Waterfront single, this beastie keeps rearing its gatefold head and refuses to go away.

The biggest pointer to its virtual nature is the fact that no-one has got one.

Except a collector e-mailed me to discuss this holy grail. Seems he recently purchased All The Things She Said and Alive And Kicking singles stuffed into one plastic sleeve, and officially stickered up as "Limited Edition two for the price of one" complete with logos. Is that the elusive double pack? Pictures soon.

The new Simple Minds album, Black And White, will be released on the 5th September.

(The German Sanctuary Records site suggested a title of Black And White 050505 but this was simply the title and completion/copy date on their CDR. It would be cool to have the album's competion date as part of the title but the 5th May 2005 in numerical form does not slip off the tongue).

The first tracklisting has also appeared, but appears to be incomplete. At the moment, suggests:

1.    Stay Visible
2.    Home
3.    Stranger
4.    Different World
5.    Underneath The Ice
6.    Jeweller
7.    Black And White
8.    I Kiss The Ground
9.    Dolphin

Oddly no mention of Immigrants, Light Travels and several other proposed titles, while it's the first time that Different World and Jeweller have been mentioned (and the later does sound a little too similar to Jeweller To The Stars). It's early days yet so I'd expect this track listing to change a little over the coming weeks.

9th June
Potential Dates
  • New single: 29th August 2005
  • New album: 5th September 2005
  • Tour: Starts March-April 2006
The first date has appeared for the new album: 12th September

It was reported in one Dutch newspaper that Simple Minds would be appearing at The Breakfast Club Reunion at this years MTV Awards. Not true. Whilst the cast of the film will be appearing (Emilio Estevez still unconfirmed), Don't You (Forget About Me) is to be performed by Yellowcard.

Not one to set your videos for.

Simple Minds are included on The Tube DVD: Volume One playing a live version of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84). However, the release has already suffered one delay, with the release date now currently set at the 31st July.

An extremely rare 12" of DJ T's Gold Dreamer has recently turned up. Issued on the Italian Rise label back in 2002, it features two familiar remixes of the title track, and an exclusive mix which includes the bass-line of Sleeping Girl.

More information has been added to the Redux site.

It's now twenty years since Don't You (Forget About Me) reached the top of the US charts.

"Don't know the actual date and I think it stayed there for two weeks, but not sure... ONE week was enough for me... we were SO chuffed !!" - Bruce Findlay

Some Sweet Day 2005 will be held on the 4th August. This annual event, a marathon 18 hours of Simple Minds music back-to-back, along with exclusive interviews (ususally from Jim) is a must-listen for any fan.

As always, Todd Richards and Aaron Burke will be compiling a show of well-known singles, album tracks, obscure B-sides, remixes and bootlegs. Our Secrets Are The Same and tracks from Silver Box will also be aired, and hopefully, material from the new DVD-Audio releases.

For further information, and how to listen, check out

"Just wanted to point out that the tribute album, "Swimming Towards the Sun", is FINALLY available for download from iTunes Music Store. So tracks can now be purchased for about $1 each, while the whole album is $10 (differs in different countries)."

"You can get free 30 second full quality clips of all of the songs on iTunes."

"For those who don't already have it, iTunes can be downloaded from and is free. Versions exist for Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Windows 2000."

Mike Simpson

I found some quotes from Simon Heyworth about the remasters CDs:

"Yes I think New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) does sound good, and I am pleased with the result. It's their biggest selling album apparently. It's quite scary when you listen to the 'original' master of that as the bass drum is so prominent and there is this resonance to it which becomes a little annoying after a while. So how to calm it down without losing the bass, that was the trick. A-Ds? Well I used the Meitner on that one (DSD)."
""Once Upon A Time": I struggled with this to be honest. It had to be a Copy Master. The Original was a bit shot due to 'sticky shed' syndrome. The Copy was good as I saw it being done. But you know 'it's a copy' and things do change. The snare is harsher perhaps. Maybe I should have had another go using the originals and persevered. It's just that some of this catalogue is so damaged by 'sticky shed' no fault of anybody except Ampex of course, that it is a real pain to work with and I get tired of cleaning the heads, listening for HF drop outs, editing all the bits back together again. It gets incredibly time consuming and I've done that a lot. Nevertheless the band really like this Remaster and feel it has a lot of detail, excitement. It may not be as HiFi as New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84). I think the reverbs are quite harsh too. Perhaps I told it like it is more."

I've been asked some extra questions about the DVD-Audios:

  • The artwork is based on the remasters series; so all the album credits and lyrics are too small to read.
  • DVD-Audios will only play in DVD players. However, there's nothing stopping you ripping the contents to MP3 and cutting a CD - for your own personal use of course!
To find out more about Roland Prent and the work he does, you can always visit the studio website.

"I thought you and your readers might be interested in my new book "Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84." Based on over 125 interviews, it’s a panoramic survey of the seven year period following punk, taking in everything from PIL to ABC to ZTT, from industrial and 2-Tone to synthpop and goth.

Of particular interest will be the chapter deailng with Simple Minds.

"Rip It Up and Start Again" was published by Faber & Faber on April 21. It’s 576 pages ong and fully illustrated, and is available at and other UK online booksellers. (The American edition will be out on Viking Penguin in February 2006)

For more information check the Rip It Up and Start Again site at which will soon feature extensive footnotes to the chapters, transcripts, links, etc.

Simon Reynolds

A definitive work that will not be bettered for the span of its coverage, and the generosity of its analysis…. Rarely does one wish a 550-page book were longer, but in this case Reynolds leaves the reader wanting more... A fantastic tribute to an amazingly creative musical period. It is an instant pop classic, worthy of a place on your shelves beside the handful of music books that really matter” - The Scotsman on Sunday

"***** Q Classic... This remarkable and perfectly timed cultural history is required reading" - Q

Reynolds has shed dazzling light on a neglected era of music, and it’s difficult to imagine "Rip It Up and Start Again" being displaced as the definitive word on the subject... a brilliant job of reigniting the sense of seething potential that hung in the air like the whiff of cordite once the stereotyped attitudes of punk had finally been exorcised” - The Sunday Times

Once Upon A Time
EMI DVDAV2364 7243 813016 92

Whilst New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) was a surprise from start to finish, the DVD-Audio of Once Upon A Time followed the original album more closely. Entirely remixed in 5:1 surround sound, the only surprises were extended remixes of the title track (with an extended outro) and Come A Long Way (with extended intro and outro). Again, it sounds like Ronald Prent was slower on the fader than Bob Clearmountain and Jimmy Iovine was.

  1. Once Upon A Time [5:1 Extended Mix] (6:19)
    With extended outro.

  2. All The Things She Said [5:1 Mix] (4:21)

  3. Ghostdancing [5:1 Mix] (4:46)

  4. Alive And Kicking [5:1 Mix] (5:14)

  5. Oh Jungleland [5:1 Mix] (5:25)

  6. I Wish You Were Here [5:1 Mix] (4:45)

  7. Sanctify Yourself [5:1 Mix] (5.00)

  8. Come A Long Way [5:1 Extended Mix] (5.25)
    With extended intro and outro.

On the subject of Bob Clearmountain, the new Simple Minds album is finished. Thus a release in September is definitely on the cards. In the meantime, the band are working on more new material.

I incorrectly timed Hunter And The Hunted from the DVD-Audio: it's 6:06 not 8:06. Still, you do get more Herbie Hancock.

So to you want to hear what all the fuss is about? Here's New Gold Dream from the DVD-Audio. It's lost quality, being encoded from the stereo at 192kbps, but the clarity of Jim's voice in the mix, as well as the extended intro, should be immediately noticable.

The DVD is available from the usual suspects including Esprit and Amazon.

More information about EMI's DTS Signature Series (of which New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Once Upon A Time are members) can be found here.

At the moment, only New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Once Upon A Time are available as newly remastered and remixed DVD-Audios.

When asked about future projects, Mick MacNeil stated that he hopes be working on something with Derek Forbes and Brian McGee. So, nothing definite at the moment, but very interesting that they might be working on something together.

A couple of weeks ago, David Guetta's The World Is Mine which was based on a sample from Someone Somewhere In Summertime was the second highest new entry in the French chart. He rose slightly in subsequent weeks, but always remained in the bottom half of the Top 20 (some chart results can be found here.)

"I was a huge Simple Minds fan as a teenager - I loved their trad-rock years at first. But then I heard their early work, records like "Empires & Dance" and I was astonished by their freshness."

Gordon Moakes
Bloc Party

New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
EMI DVDAV2230 7243 813171 98

I owe Virgin/EMI an apology. On paper, this release looked like another reissue of an reissue; a token release on yet another new format which would be of limited interest, only being playable on expensive equipment. My viewpoint was further jaundiced by listening to the SACD releases and wondering what all the fuss was about. I’d heard it all before.

This DVD-Audio is a revelation. And my new hero is Ronald Prent.

Taking the original 24-track analogue masters, he crafted a true 5:1 surround sound version of most of the album, so New Gold Dream now surrounds and envelopes, and you can be truly immersed in its lush textures and melodies. That alone would gain it a high recommendation.

But Prent was also loath to touch the volume control, leaving it high whilst Pete Walsh, with one eye on the limited space on vinyl and tape, was forced to fade. Thus Someone Somewhere (In Summertime), Big Sleep and Glittering Prize appear as new psuedo-extended forms with extended epilogs.

And, unfettered from the original sanctioned Walsh master from which all other releases were cast, Prent had a set of analogue masters which featured the entire recording sessions themselves. New, extended versions of Somebody Up There Likes You and Hunter And The Hunted appear, the former overlaid with more of Charlie’s haunting guitar lines, the latter featuring more of Herbie Hancock.

And Prent wasn’t shy of clipping studio banter. Pete Walsh, throat dry after sucking on innumerable cigarettes croaked “Rolling” as a marathon extended version of King Is White And In The Crowd kicks in. After a signal from the drums, the band abruptly stop, and Walsh congratulates “That’s the one.” Except it wasn’t and this is the first time it’s ever surfaced.

The icing on the cake, the beautiful bonus, was In Every Heaven. Again Prent has come up trumps, finding the vocals, with Jim hesitantly singing a sparse vocal over the choppy choruses. It has an unfinished feel, perhaps the reason for stripping it of words, and renaming it soundtrack, and downgrading it to B-side (it appeared on the flip of Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)).

The news gets better. Whilst DVD-Audio is a new(Ish) format, the sleeve now covered with symbols proclaiming formats and systems, the disc played in my bog standard PC-DVD (using PCM 2.0 stereo) and blasted with authority from my DTS enabled DVD (DTS Surround Sound 5:1). It will also play on DVD- Audio machines. And the disc itself is regionless.

Other bonuses included the videos for Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize but, at this stage, who cares? The music itself was enough.

So to Virgin/EMI: I’m sorry. What on paper looked like being yet another remaster of a remaster on a new format that little could play, turned out to be an alternative version of the album, a refreshing new view, and a must-have for every fan.

  1. Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) [5:1 Extended Mix] (5:22)
    Slow fade at end revealing extra vocals and different inflections.

  2. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel (3:48)
    Same as the remaster. Not 5.1.

  3. Promised You A Miracle (4:25)
    Same as the remaster. Not 5.1.

  4. Big Sleep [5:1 Extended Mix] (5:20)
    Slow fade. Some extra vocals.

  5. Somebody Up There Likes You [5:1 Extended Mix] (5:45)
    Extended version with extra guitar and effects.

  6. New Gold Dream [5:1 Extended Mix] (6:07)
    The well known German-12" mix, but with extended intro. Unfortunately it fades before the end.

  7. Glittering Prize [5:1 Extended Mix] (4.39)
    Slow fade at the end, although there isn't much different.

  8. Hunter And The Hunted [5:1 Extended Mix] (6.06)
    Marathon version featuring far more Herbie Hancock.

  9. King Is White And In The Crowd [5:1 Extended Mix] (7.28)
    Extended version with Pete Walsh cues, count-in, band abruptly ending and final comments.

  10. In Every Heaven [5:1 Mix] (4:55)
    Soundtrack For Every Heaven now gets vocals.

The new album is proceeding according to plan, and Bob Clearmountain (along with Jim and Charlie) is currently mixing it.

Bob has a studio webcam, so the mixing can be viewed online (and simply consists of Bob and Charlie staring at a flatscreen monitor with Jim sitting in the corner). Alas, no sound, but for those interested, the cam can be found at (Only ten connections allowed at a time).

Whilst it's mostly an advert for Jim's hotel in Sicily, these double-page spread which recently turned up in The Mail On Sunday is interesting for the background and how the whole venture came together.

Sicily's Hard Rock Hotel

Simple Minds star Jim Kerr tells how the island home of The Godfathers made him an offer he couldn't refuse

In 1982 I played a gig on Sicily that was, although I didn't know it at the time, to change my life.

The concert promoter promised to take me somewhere special to celebrate my 23rd birthday - and so it was that I came to visit the chic medieval town of Taormina on the island's north-east coast.

I fell for the place head-over-heels - and began a love affair with it that was to have a surprising result in later years.

Taormina, famously home to Mount Etna (Europe's most active volcano) and a key location for The Godfather movies, is an impossibly romantic town with views and scenery that stop you dead in your tracks.

Its effect on me all those years ago was instant and, in the following decade, I returned many times to holiday there, growing ever more fond of the area.

In 1995, however, fate stepped in to strengthen my bond still further.

I'd been playing a Simple Minds concert in northern Italy and spotted a group of people in the crowd who were holding up a banner saying Taormina. It grabbed my attention and I shouted 'Ciao' to them, mentioning my passion for the town over the microphone.

By coincidence, one of the group, Antionio Chemi, whose family runs a restaurant in Taormina, was staying at the same hotel as me and we got chatting in the bar later that night.

With wild Sicilian gesticulation he reprimanded me for visting Taormina all those times yet never dining at his family resturarant.

Before we parted, I promised to call him next time I was in Sicily. But he got to Scotland first and we met up in Edinburgh.

I'm afraid I wasn't a terribly good host and succumbed immediately when he offered to cook for my firends and me at my house, suspecting that he must be a dab hand in the kitchen. I was right.

Over the next few years I continued to visit Taormina. But instead of staying in hotels, I accepted the hospitality of Antonio and his family instead.

Within days of first meeting Antonio's family, I found myself playing football with a bunch of local guys and being invited to eat in people's houses. It further strengthened my affection for the town but, over the next few years, I didn't have as many opportunities to visit and it wasn't until I finally went back in 2000 that I realised how much I'd missed it.

When I returned I was at a low point in my life. But, within a couple of weeks, Taormina - with its magnificent views and Sicilian hospitality - had worked its magic and I felt totally rejuvenated.

I knew then that I had to do something that would permanently link me to the town and suggested to Antonio that we should build a little hotel there. I dreamed of somewhere that would provide guests with a totally authentic feel of Taormina and allow them to share my love of the place.

We initially wanted to renovate an old building and looked at a few dilapidated guesthouses but none was a viable business proposition. Then a plot of land next to Antonio's house came up for sale and we snapped it up. It's near the old church of Madonna Della Rocca at the top end of Taormina and affords magnificent views of Mount Etna and the Mediterranean.

The building work took two years, though more time was taken on the decor, the finer detail and cutting through Sicilian red tape. We built the hotel, called Villa Angela, so that all 21 bedrooms - seven on each of three floors - look out over Mount Etna.

Antonio and I were involved in every part of its development and used local suppliers and materials wherever possible to ensure we ended up with the genuine article of our dreams.

An interior designer from Taormina helped us to create an atmosphere that felt like a luxurous Sicilian house with lots of warm Mediterranean colours, wrought iron, ceramics and solid chestnut furniture. Even though it's a hotel, Villa Angela genuinely feels like a home. The last thing I wanted was to build some glitzy rock-star hotel that frankly could have been anywhere in the world once you were inside.

Each floor has a different colour scheme and we have a couple of suites as well as the most stunning breakfast room I've ever come across. I have a house not far from the hotel where I spend four or five months of hte year but I still eat breakfast at Villa Angela most days after my morning walk to the little mountain top town of Catelmola above Taormina. The breakfast room has spectacular views of Mount Etna, Giardini Naxos, Bay Castelmola and Taormina itself, which never fail to intoxicate my senses and calm my soul.

When it comes to other mealtimes, we're very flexible at Villa Angela. Taormina has more tha 100 resturants and is such a beautiful place to wander around at night with its little piazzas and winding, candle-lit alleyways that hotel resturants are a bit of a waste.

As a result, we've decided not to offer a formal dinner service, though if a guest fancies a plate of pasta mid-afternoon or a piece of cake and a cappuccino, we'll organise it, no problem. It is, after all, part of our philosophy to run Villa Angela like a Sicilian home where there's hospitality on tap all day long.

At lunchtimes we offer an extensive menu at the pool bar, set amid beautiful gardens whcih are home to more than 50 species of plants and flowers. Michael Douglas, Antionio Banderas, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith were among our first lunch guests when Hotel Villa Angela opened last summer, which is a pretty amazing cast list.

The Chemi family resutrant is called La Botte and is on Piazza Santa Domenica just off the main Corso Umberto in Taormina. It was set up by Antonio's parents and grandmother 33 years ago. It's hard to believe but at the time there was apparently a shortage of restaurants in Taormina and his family decided to open a place that would allow tourists to taste proper Sicilian food.

Today, the resturant is run by Antonio and his borther and attracts as many celebrities as it does tourists and locals, all of whom adore the opportunity to dine outdoors benath La Botte's beautiful orange trees.

La Botte is the Italian word for barrel, which is certainly how you'd end up looking if you ate there regularly thanks to wonderful house specialities such as mussels al gratin, spaghetti with fresh clams and amazing pizzas.

Antonio also offeres everything from bottles of vintage wine to 'go-down-well' reds and whites from origianl Sicilian barrels.

Having spent so much time in Taormina over the years and now being able to claim it as one of my homes, I've discovered lots of places to go and things to do.

The past permeates Taormina every which way you turn and it's impossible to walk more than a few yards without being aware of the incredible hisotry that has occurred within the city walls. The open-air amphitheatre, Teatro Greco, is a must-see and I'd recommend going there either at dawn or sunset to experience it at its most amazing.

It especially comes to life during The Taormina Flim Festival every June, whcih is when we had our famous guest lunches at Villa Angela last year. Imagine sitting under the starriest of Mediterranean skies in the ancient amphitheatre with Mount Etna in the distance, watching the cream of new cinema releases.

The festival lasts around ten days and Taormina positively thrives on the excitement of having Hollywood greats, Italy's beautiful people and the paparazzi in town.

I often enjoy a morning swim ten minutes from the centre of Taormina at teh bays of Mazzaro, Letojanni or Spisone and, if I'm in need of some tranquillity, I take a boat to the enchanting islet of Isola Bella, a World Wide Fund for Nature-proected site.

The countryside all around Taormina is beautiful and anyone who enjoys hiking and treeking, as I do, will love it. Early spring and late autumn are great times to go walking in the mountains and valleys when the climate isn't too host and nature is often at its most stunning.

October is the month of La Vendemmia, the grape harvest, a subline time of the year to be in Taormina. Grape picking is very much a social activity and Sicilian families welcome extra pairs of hands to help. The hard work is always rewarded in the late afternoon when everyone, young and old sits together in the field and indulges in a huge Sicilian picnic. The food and wine at these gatherings are to die for.

I couldn't talk about Taormina and not mention two other great Italian pastimes - shopping and football. The Corso Umberto is the romantic and glamorous pedestrianised street that runs through the centre of Taormina. Here you'll find the best cappuccino, ice cream and lemon cake in the world, plus stylish designer shops and jewellery stores. It's a shopper's, poseur's and dreamer's paradise in equal measure and a great place for people watching.

As for football, for the first time in decades Sicily has two teams in the world-famous Italian Serie A. I often go to watch nearby Messina play at home and occasionally head to Sicily's capital, Palermo, to see the local boys take on some of football's biggest stars, including Juventus, Milan and Roma. You never know, perhaps we'll even have some of football's great and good stay at Villa Angela this year.

We allowed Villa Angela to open quietly last summer beause we wanted to make sure we'd got it exactly right but now I think we are ready to start shouting to the world about it.

We've had an unusually pleasant winter in Sicily with mild temperatures and blue skies and the promise of summer is already in the air. Villa Angela oepned last month and we'll be welcoming guests right through until the end of October when the climate is still good.

Although I divide my time between London (where my children are), Glasgow, Nice and Taormina, it's Taormina that feels most like home these days.

And it seems that a growing number of beach-loveers and culture vultures alike a discovering its charm. Official figures show that 35,000 British people visited the town last year, an increase of 20 per cent on 2003, and it's definitely starting to enjoy popularity as a year-round destination, not just a summer hotspot. I'd defy anyone to come here and not tumble head-over-heels in love with the place as I did.

Sadie Nicholas
The Mail On Sunday
April 10th 2005

Tel: 0039 0942 27038

Planet Funk are due to release a new album, a rockier recording than the debut Non Zero Sumness. The new single Stop Me feels a little like Simple Minds in the chorus, so it's one to look out for and give a listen.

If anyone is still after the Simple Minds reissues in the limited edition "mini-vinyl" format, in the US still have plenty of copies. They're reasonably priced and, if shipped as pairs, UK buyers can avoid paying import duty (as value must be over £18 to pay duty).

A video of the recording of the single has turned up on Jimmy Johnstone's site. It features Jim, Charlie and Jimmy.

BBC Radio Scotland recently gave New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) the classic album treatment in a half hour show. Oddly for a classic album show, some of the content was given over to discussing whether the album deserved this status and where it all went wrong for Simple Minds.

But the BBC did their homework when it came to the stuff that maters i.e. the music, and assembled the best people to talk about it. The programme features Jim, Bruce Findlay, Paul Morley, Lindsay Hutton and The Utah Saints.

You can listen to the show online here.

The DVD-Audios of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Once Upon A Time have been further delayed, the release date being pushed back to the 4th April. Amazingly, from the company that doesn't seem to understand the phrase "bonus material", In Every Heaven has now been added to New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) as an extra track. (Probably Soundtrack For Every Heaven, which first appeared on the Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) 12", and has suffered an identity crisis ever since).

Simple Minds have just signed a worldwide licensing and distribution deal with Sanctuary Records - home to Morrissey, The Strokes and The Libertines.

The Scots rockers signed the contract in between recording new material for their album in Holland.

A spokesman for the band said: 'Over the last few years Sanctuary has acquired a great reputation as being a true artist's label that can also deliver commercially. We look forward with great enthusiasm to working with them on the next new phase of Simple Minds music.'

The Simple Minds album - produced by Jez Coad and Simple Minds with Bob Clearmountain mixing - is due out in September.

Beverley Lyons And Cath Bennett
The Razz
March 4th 2005

The DVD-Audios of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Once Upon A Time will now be released on the 21st March.

More information about RM's Speed Your Love To Me has been added to the discography.

Those in France should listen to Francis Zegut's Rock Station radio show hosted on RTL2 (9 PM through to midnight, every weekday). The DJ sounds like a Simple Minds promotion machine, interviewing Jim for Cry and Our Secrets Are The Same and even playing New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) from Silver Box.

So, he may be worth listening to around August if the new album is to be released in September.

A french review of the album is published here.

Whilst working on the new album, Jim and Charlie have been working on a parallel project. What will come of The Devil Came Down To Moscow remains to be seen, but it's certainly one of their most intreguing projects to date.

David Guetta's The World Is Mine was finally issued in the UK on the 21st February. The three formats featured the same mixes as the promos.

Details of the 12" releases have been added to the discography.

RM's Speed Your Love To Me is now available from

Brian McGee's drum stand has now appeared on eBay.

  • Festivalbar, Italy footage from 2002 of Simple Minds playing Cry
  • The World Is Mine. Scroll down to the Behind The Scenes video. I think David Guetta is actually in it amongst all the naked flesh and poledancing, but I'll watch again to make sure.
Some more info on yesterday's post: Derek demoed a couple of tunes for the new album, but his involvement stopped there. Therefore he won't be on the album - the bass is played by Eddie Duffy.

David Guetta's The World Is Mine will be released as a five track CD in the UK on Monday. HMV are taking pre-orders at £2.99.

Derek Forbes has been involved with the new album. It isn't known if this was writing, demoing, or recording, but he worked on four songs with the band.

However, he's currently working with Spear Of Destiny, so it's unlikely that he'll be further involved.

Meanwhile Mick MacNeil's been busy getting back to his roots and collaborating on the Back To Barra album.

For those scared of vinyl, CD promos of David Guetta's The World Is Mine have started to circulate.

The tribute album, Swimming Towards The Sun can now be downloaded at " If you purchase the album there, please be sure to return to that page and leave a positive review. At less than $9, I think this is the cheapest place to get the tribute album." - Mike Simpson.

After hearing 12"/80s, it turns out that Simple Minds are represented by the longer, more reworked, US Remix of Promised You A Miracle.

Keep an eye on eBay and other auction websites. Whilst having a studio clearout, Brian McGee has found the last snare drum stand he used whilst recording with Simple Minds. So that's going up as a lot along with a signed photo of Brian playing the kit, a letter of authentication and a Simple Minds 'red-eye' badge.

Simple Minds get two mentions in the Top Ten List compiled on the Manic Street Preachers official website. Found under the "Lists" section, Nicky Wire cites Derek Forbes as the top bass player of all time, whilst Empires And Dance makes its way onto James Bradfield's cover art top ten.

Already making "Compilation Album Of The Month" in several publications, 12"/80s a 3CD set, features 12" mixes from the key players of the 1980s. Simple Minds are represented by the slightly lengthened Promised You A Miracle remix from 1982.

Various homebrew remixes of early material (usually forged from the album, instrumental and Razormaid remixes) can be found on the Dreamtime blog page. The quality's high, and other remixes for Roxy Music and David Bowie are well worth a listen as well.

The other promotional 12" of David Guetta's The World Is Mine features three remixes; although the Black Strobe Remix doesn't feature the Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) sample.

For further information, see Dream Giver Redux.

The paper is on a Simple Minds roll at the moment. Not only did they select I Travel for last weeks Best Scottish Bands CD, they put Cry on the freebie CD for the previous week. A good bit of promotional work for one of the band's most overlooked albums.

I am surprised: the Best Scottish Bands CD (issued with Scotland On Sunday) included I Travel! Perhaps the compilers read the comments in Q's The Story Of Electropop special:

One feature in the magazine was the Essential Songs. And here's the list:

  • I Feel Love Donna Summer
  • Being Boiled The Human League (and covered by The Minds)
  • Left To My Own Devices The Pet Shop Boys
  • Enjoy The Silence Depeche Mode
  • We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thang Heaven 17
  • Ghosts Japan
  • Fade To Grey Visage
  • I Travel Simple Minds
  • I Want More Can
  • Autobahn Kraftwerk (partial inspiration for New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
  • Sound And Vision David Bowie
  • Tainted Love Soft Cell
  • Once In A Lifetime Talking Heads
  • Are 'Friends' Electric Gary Numan
  • O, Superman Laurie Anderson
  • Warm Leatherette The Normal
  • Messages OMD
  • Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) Eurythmics
  • Pop Muzik M
  • Blue Monday New Order
And the prose for I Travel states:

"European travelogue set to a speedy electronic beat
Taken from their dance-tinged, Euro-centric Empires And Dance album in 1980, I Travel was the breakthrough single that never happened. The electronic rhytm sounds like an amphetamine-spiked Moroder beat as singer Jim Kerr rushes through images of "decadence and pleasure towns" with a vague but manic intensity. The blend of impressionistic lyrics and aggresive, synthesized backing make it one of the highlights from that era of British pop, containing both the potent, angular urgency of post-punk and electro's more experimental sounds

Simple Minds also got the three page retrospective treatment, which was written by John Aizlewood. Whilst supplying more fantastic metaphors for the band's lexicon, the article ultimately fell flat on its face when it came to the 1990s, simply writing the band off, and reducing them to Italian hotel builders releasing cover albums. However his history of the first decade of the band is definitely worth a read, and he pushes the boundary of 'good' Simple Minds up to Belfast Child which is oddly described as "career-killing".

Aizlewood gains partial redemption for his killing soundbites and a gushing full page review of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) which follows the biography. The following are some quotes from the article (and I could've picked out many more):

"...which begins mysteriously "Ruby says she does not dream." Before 60 seconds have passed there is time for a chorus which begins, as all choruses should "Whopopopopopopopop..." Fabulous. It wasn't quite the '80s, but Simple Minds were already ahead of their time." - John Aizlewood

"Simple Minds' Faustian penance is to be forever doomed to play it" - John Aizlewood on Don't You (Forget About Me).

The Fuck Me I'm Famous and Clamaran Dub remixes of The World Is Mine both strongly feature the sample of Someone Somewhere (In Summertime), so if you like the song, this promo 12" is definitely worth searching out.

For more details, see the page for The World Is Mine.

During the awards ceremony of Scotland's current list of great band (before being replaced by the next one), Idlewild covered Don't You (Forget About Me) to the surprise of the audience. "Stripped of its usual stadium bombast, [the song] proved surprisingly touching when delivered in Woomble's gritty voice."

The cover can be heard here.

After a three month poll of the Top 50 Scottish Bands Of All Time (Ever, Ever, Ever... Until The Next One), The List magazine's collated all the results and published the final ranking.

Indie band Belle & Sebastian made the top place, with Simple Minds at number six, beaten by Travis, Idlewild, Wet Wet Wet and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

Those slightly upset at these results (shouldn't Primal Scream be higher?) can take condolence in the fact that Simple Minds are still the most successful Scottish band.

The full list can be found at here.

As part of the tie-in with the list, Simple Minds will feature on a free ten track CD given away with Scotland on Sunday this weekend (16th January). The song selected isn't known, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't Don't You (Forget About Me), Alive And Kicking or Belfast Child.

RM have 'remixed' Speed Your Love To Me, and it's available on a white-label 12 from Italian label d:vision. A sample MP3 of the song doesn't do it justice, but it's in the style of recent remixes of Call On Me by Eric Prydz and Out Of Touch by United Nations i.e. a couple of lines of the song ("Just my imagination" and "You go to my head") are repeated and faded in and out.

It's got a page on Redux: more information as, and when, I get it.

The Glasgow Evening Times featured The Rock Legends Of Glagow in their suppliment this last Sunday (11th Jan 2005). Simple Minds were featured on two pages: the first being a black and white of the band from the 1980s, whilst the second picture brought it all up-to-date with a picture of Jim at the Gampel open air festival from 2003.

After feedback, I've updated the top ten rarities to include several releases which only just missed the list.

The World Is Mine, a Depeche Mode style song featuring a sample from Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) looks set for release on the 14th January.

Two 12" promos were issued in December and are now circulating, each featuring different mixes of the title track. Sent to select DJs, each is limited to 100 copies.

For further information, see the new section on Dream Giver Redux.

Some small additions have been made to Redux, both to the Real To Real Cacophony section:

A special Q Magazine will be published on January 14th. Telling the Story Of Electropop, Depeche Mode are the cover stars, but Simple Minds get a mention as well (and the blurb will probably cover Real To Real Cacophony through to New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)).. Should be worth a quick flick through in the newsagents.


Simple Minds
Neon Lights
(promo CD, Eagle 194P, 2001)

As comedy albums go, you can't get better than this. Of course, in 2001, when Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill decided that Simple Minds would start the new millennium with a covers album, comedy was the last thing on their minds.

They wanted to pay their respects to artists who had either influenced or jumped fences with them during their 80s heyday. This promo was no doubt perceived as a canny act of marketing to whet the appetites of music journalists and fans alike. On the disc, Jim Kerr waxes lyrical about each track covered before a brief sample of the Minds' stellar version is played.

Kerr sounds deliciously pompous about the whole affair (" There have been so many great songs, so many different sounds, so may artists and acts that have influenced our band") which makes the butchering of the likes of Van Morrison's Gloria, The Doors' Hello, I Love You, Pete Shelly's Homosapien and The Velvet Underground's All Tomorrow's Parties all the more hilarious. Simply put, this is the Metal Machine Music of cover albums - horrific as that sounds - and contains music which even makes Paul Young's dissection of Love Will Tear Us Apart bearable.

Diabolical liberties are taken with Neon Lights, The Needle And The Damage Done and Bring On The Dancing Horses (which is given a dance beat!) I wouldn't part with my copy for £50 by imagine that you could get one on eBay for £15 if you're unlucky. The actual Neon Lights album is worth about £7 but without the Kerr commentary is only fit for employment as psychological torture or piped music in Siberian supermarkets.

And, before the complaining letters flood in, I actually like Simple Minds.

Ian Shirley
Record Collector
Jan 2005

A little harsh I think.

The World Is Mine which features a sample of Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) is available on David Guetta's Guetta Blaster album. A sample of the song can be heard here.

The album, which was released in 2004, can be purchased from David Guetta's own site.

Remixes has just been released on 12" (which is probably why it's been getting play on Danish radio.) It isn't known if the Simple Minds sample is on all the mixes yet:

  • The world is mine [radio edit]
  • The world is mine [extended version]
  • The world is mine [Deep Dish remix]
  • The world is mine [Antoine Clamaran dub remix]
  • The world is mine [Fuck me i'm famous remix]
  • The world is mine [Blackstrobe remix]

Be sure to check out David Guetta's The World Is Mine. The song, which has been getting airplay in Denmark, samples Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) in the chorus.

archives: news 1995 | news 1996 | news 1997 | news 1998 | news 1999 | news 2000 | news 2001 | news 2002 | news 2003 | news 2004 |
news 2005 | news 2006 | news 2007 | news 2008 | news 2009 | news 2010 | news 2011 | news 2012 | news 2013 | news 2014 |
news 2015 | news 2016 | news 2017 | news 2018 | news 2019 | news 2020 | news 2021 | news 2022
summary: timeline